Hounslow Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Room 3, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Joti Patel - telephone: 020 8583 3356; email:  joti.patel@hounslow.gov.uk 

No. Item


Apologies for absence, declarations of interest or any other communication from Members


Apologies for absence were noted for Jeremy Welburn, Interim Head of Internal Audit.


There were no declarations of interest for any item on the Agenda.


Minutes of the meeting held on 28 June 2016 pdf icon PDF 137 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 28th June 2016 were agreed as accurate and signed subject to the following amendment:


Page 2, Item 5 Quarterly Monitor of the Risk Register

·       It was noted that there was a discussion on the correct rating for risk 17, which some Members felt should be higher than noted.


Matters arising from the minutes


Item 5

Cllr Hearn stated that Officers should link the need for the Audit Committee to review if risk register is appropriate.


Item 7

The report to this meeting was not included in the Agenda.  Stuart Brown agreed to update Members at agenda item 8.


External Audit: Annual Governance Report pdf icon PDF 249 KB

Additional documents:


See the report at Agenda Item 4 presented by Neil Thomas and Charles Medley, KPMG


Tabled amendments for pages 28 and 29 of the Audit report.


·       All general summary items related to basis of tax advice.  Grant Claims audit outside scope of work.

·       Total amount of other work not more than £30,000.  Other work for the year within fee threshold.

·       Consider each against these criteria with tabled update.


Members raised question on points in the statement and received the following response from the Auditors and Officers:


·       The objection received and accepted did not impact on certifying the accounts and KPMG would investigate and respond to the objector separately after obtaining legal opinion.  The response would be reported back to the Committee.  They anticipated that this would be done by the end of November.

·       Value for Money opinion on Waste Contracts would be included in the risk assessment for the next year.

·       Lampton 78 is the current name of the company formerly registered as Hounslow Homes.

·       Typing errors were noted.



·       To note and agree the recommendations on page 4 of the report by Charles Medley




Statement of Accounts 2015-16 pdf icon PDF 34 KB

Additional documents:


See the report at Agenda item 5, page 31, presented by Anthony Brown, Head of Financial Strategy and Accounting.


Accounts signed off by Chief Finance Officer.  Audit Committee asked to approve Accounts at this meeting.


Anthony Brown tabled an amendment to note 16 on page 76 regarding external audit costs to be approved by the Committee.


Following question from Members, Officers gave the following replies:

·        The PSA contract covered external audit and there was no conflict.

·       There was no asset write off associated with 88 Lampton as this was still on the balance sheet as a surplus asset.

·       Significant overspend for temporary accommodation was highlighted in the Risk Register.

·       Members queried whether 2015/16 statement should include a CIL statement.  CIL received for 2015/16 was very small and would be reported in the next statement.

·       Members queried whether the statement should include the bullet point regarding HRA Quality Homes and Jobs referring to Lampton 360 responsibility for repairs.  Clive Palfreyman confirmed that this was not material to the sign off of the accounts.

·       There was no specific trend identified with the increase of debtors.

·       Typing errors had been identified and corrected.




·       The Audit Committee approved the accounts


Annual Governance Statement 2016 pdf icon PDF 143 KB

Additional documents:


See the report at Agenda Item 6, page 185, presented by Clive Palfreyman.


The Audit Committee was asked to approve sign off of the Governance Statement 2016.


·       Members asked for mitigation strategies to be included in the report. Clive Palfreyman asked Members to agree the information required for Audit Committee so that a report from the relevant Officer could be submitted to them.

·       Officers would bear in mind putting the conclusion at the front of the statement for the next year.




·       To approve sign off of the Governance Statement 2016



Risk Strategy and Quarterly Monitoring of Corporate Risk Register pdf icon PDF 301 KB

Additional documents:


See the report at Agenda Item 7, page 200, presented by Lorelei Watson, Head of Treasury, Pensions and Capital.


Lorelei referred to the summary table at page 202 of the agenda highlighting 4 risks which had moved to red and the actions to mitigate the risks. 


In response to Members questions, Officers replied as follows:


·       Risk ratings were agreed by CLT and concerns raised by Members would be fed back to CLT for consideration.

·       Noted concerns about risk 16 on the register not accurately reflected and feedback to CLT.

·       Noted Members concerns regarding risk 13 on sickness and hard to fill posts, use of temporary/interim staff.

·       Noted Members request for report on staff turnover in hard to fill posts.

·       Noted Members concerns regarding risk 15 and said that the Worksmart Programme had been expanded and was accountable to a Worksmart Board attended by Councillor Dennison.




·       To note the report


Internal Audit and Counter Fraud Performance Report pdf icon PDF 339 KB


See the report at Agenda Item 8, page 229, presented by Clive Palfreyman, Director of Finance and Corporate Services.


The report provided an update on progress towards targets set in the Audit Plan to keep Members updated.


Clive Palfreyman advised Members that Steve Tinkler had left the Council and Jeremy Wellburn had been appointed as Interim Head of Internal Audit and Investigation.  He was unable to attend the meeting today.  He introduced Stuart Brown of PwC, who had been appointed as Strategic Audit Partner from June 2016 to Audit all Council services.  Jeremy Wellburn would be responsible for Internal Audit.


Ealing Council would lead on recruitment of a new Head of Internal Audit and Investigations as this was a shared service.  Clive Palfreyman said that Brent Council had brought forward their review of shared services and that this may impact on the shared service.


Members asked questions on the report and were provided with the following responses:


·        That Shared Services would continue to grow and develop to provide a good service to both Councils and noted that a report be provided to the Committee after the newly appointed Head of Audit and Investigations had been in place for a period of time.


·        Stuart Brown of PwC provided an overview of the work to be undertaken for Assurance Mapping set out on page 235 of the agenda.  He added that this was a continuous audit process which combined both manual tests and automated tests. He confirmed that he would provide a report to the Committee following review of IT Risk Diagnostics outlined on page 235 of the agenda.  A monitoring exception report would be produced 2 x per year.  Manual processes would be flagged where the same person has raised and authorised payments.


·       The Committee would be provided with details on what their involvement in the process would be.




·       To note the Report







Annual Report of Audit Committee pdf icon PDF 248 KB


See the report at Agenda item 9, page 245, presented by Clive Palfreyman, Director of Finance and Corporate Services


Clive Palfreyman reviewed the annual report to Cabinet of the work of the Audit Committee for Members information.


Cllr Malhotra recommended the statement was inappropriate and suggested the Audit Committee should be dissolved.  The Chair stated that it was not a decision for this Committee.


Members discussed the value of the Audit Committee as a monitoring body although it was not statutory to have an Audit Committee.


Suggestions were made to improve the report by having a summary and conclusion at the beginning of the report which was noted by the Author.




·       To note the report to be presented to Cabinet by the Chair of the Audit Committee.


Urgent business

Any other items which the Chair accepts for consideration on the grounds of urgency 


There was discussion on a request made through the Chief Executive last year to have a report on security of confidential data in the Social Services Team, how this data was stored and accessibility to the data.



The Director of Finance & Corporate Services would arrange for the appropriate officer to contact Councillor Malhotra.


Date of next meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday 15 December 2016, at 7.30pm, in Committee Room 3, Civic Centre.


The date of the next meeting was scheduled for Thursday 15th December 2016.