Hounslow Council


Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Room 1, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

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

Items
No. Item

42.

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

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were noted from Councillor Colin Ellar.

 

Councillor Mukesh Malhotra announced that he may have to leave the meeting early.

 

There were no declarations of interest.

 

43.

Minutes of the meeting held on 23rd February 2017 pdf icon PDF 152 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 23rd February 2017 were agreed as accurate and signed.

 

44.

Matters arising from the minutes

Minutes:

Page 2, point 36

·       Cllr Lambert referred to page 2 of the minutes regarding fire safety and legionella and said that he had written to the leader asking if this had been completed.  The Chair replied that this had been discussed earlier and Mike Pinder acknowledged the importance of these issues and confirmed that they are monitored in the risk register.

 

Last bullet point page 2 – Cllr Hearn

·       Cllr Hearn referred to the last bullet point on page 2 regarding no reference to corporate governance within the internal audit report.  Mike Pinder replied that this was restricted by the Audit Charter.

 

Page 5 review external communications

·       Mike Pinder had discussed with Jeremy Wellburn ways to improve external communications.

 

Page 5 Lampton 360

Following discussion on Lampton 360 the following points were made:

 

·       Lampton 360 was separate to the Local Authority and had appointed its own auditor, had its own audit programme and assurance would be provided by external audit.

·       There were 3 scoping projects in progress to identify risks to be monitored by internal audit.

·       It was proposed that the 360 Audit Report is presented to this Audit Committee when available for oversight.

·       Councillor Chatt confirmed that Overview & Scrutiny Committee would be reviewing the set up and operation of Lampton 360

 

Page 4 items discussed with the Leader

·       Councillor Hearn referred to the Chair’s meetings with the Leader and asked how actions are followed up and resolutions reported back to the Committee as there was no feedback.  It was suggested that a timeline is set up to monitor when actions have been completed from meetings with the Chair and the Leader.

 

Page 5 – review of external communications

·       Mike Pinder reported that he had discussed improvement of external communications with Jeremy Wellburn.

 

There were no other matters arising.

 

 

 

 

45.

Draft Statement of Accounts (Tony Brown) pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

See the report and appendix at Agenda items 4, page 7 and 4a, page 11 presented by Tony Brown, Head of Financial Strategy and Accounting.

 

The report was for noting and comment on the draft Statement of Accounts.  The final statement of accounts would be signed off by the Chief Financial Officer at the end of June 2017 and the final statement presented to this Committee in September 2017.

 

 In presenting the draft statement the following points were discussed

 

·       Some figures had increased by relatively small amounts

·       He referred to the restructure last year and that the workforce for CED would be less for 16/17 than 16/17 with some services moved to the ReDe directorate.

·       There was some discussion on the wording of a paragraph on page 11 and Tony Brown said he would review the report for errors and correct it.

 

Cllr Lambert referred to page 17 and suggested that the note key included the relevant information.

Cllr Hearn said that it would be useful to have an overview of why council delaying.  As outturn good result but does it show good budget control.  More in effective at the beginning, about whether area would as expected.

Tony Brown focus on advice earlier columns look at being more expansive.

Cllr SP referred to figures restructured.  TB set of people would not be restructured.

ACTION:  Prepare session in September before Audit Committee meeting for Councillors to discuss final accounts.

Resolved:

To note the report

 

46.

Draft Annual Governance Statement and Annual Review of the System of Financial Control (Mike Pinder) pdf icon PDF 441 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

See the report presented by Mike Pinder, Head of Audit & Investigation at Agenda item 5, page 152.

 

The report was produced in collaboration with management and the new head of Audit & Investigation updating how the organisation gave itself assurances.  The main changes were around council owned companies and how assurances were agreed.  It was a retrospective document for 16/17.  Any material changes would be factored in and any updates included when presented in September.

 

Following presentation of the report, the following points were discussed:

 

Concern was raised that the document was factual regarding governance but did not provide assurance and but there was no conclusion on effectiveness in the report for Committee Members to form an opinion.

 

Concerns were raised regarding oversight of Lampton 360 Audited accounts and Stuart Brown noted that organisation was separate to the Council and had appointed its own Auditors.  The Audit Charter did not allow for the Committee to see the Lampton 360 Audit automatically.  Members felt that there should be a mechanism in place to have Lampton 360 audit presented to Audit Committee to provide assurances.

 

Mike Pinder said it would in September as part of the accounts.

 

Mike Pinder said that the charter at appendix A1 set out how the Council works with organisations and was drawn on his own experience.  It had been updated to reflect changes in the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards June 2017.  Also consulted with PWC to ensure accurately reflected.  He responded to concerns raised by Members on reporting structures for subsidiary organisations.

 

The document would be reviewed and updated every year and presented to committee.

 

Resolved:

To note the report

 

47.

Annual Report including Head of Audit's Opinion & Q4 Audit & Investigation Performance Report 2016/17 (Mike Pinder) pdf icon PDF 416 KB

Minutes:

See the report presented by Mike Pinder, Head of Audit and Investigation at Agenda item, page 174.

 

He referred Members to the table on p181-182 and said that it gave reasonable assurances overall based on review and reporting throughout the year.  There had been a change of internal audit provider which used different terminology in places.  Set out in the table at the top of page 180 for easy comparison how aligned.  Reports with limited assurances were highlighted.  Chief recommendations were set out on page 185.  Contract management needed to work through with organisations.  Details of how figures were compiled are set out within the document.  Looked at projects and developing projects across shared services to promote safety and prevention.  Proceeds of crime services were being developed and there were two post dedicated to this work across shared services.

 

Concerns were raised regarding the level of performance coverage and if enough had been done to give assurances. Mike Pinder replied that he hoped to improve the monitoring and perforance and deliver 100% of the plan this year.  The Chair commented that the report was very positive and highlighted that action was being taken.

 

To note the report

48.

Quarterly Monitoring of the Risk Register (Lorelei Watson) pdf icon PDF 15 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

See the report presented by Lorelei Watson, Head of Treasury, Pensions and Capital, at agenda item 7, page 192

 

In presenting the report Lorelei noted that:

No new risks had been added and no risks had been deleted

5 security reduced and detailed at paragraph 4.2 on page 193

Lorelei reviewed the risks that had improved from red to amber and risks that had moved from green to amber.  Lorelei referred members to the guidance and matrix for reference.

 

Councillor Malhotra raised concerns on funding pressures that may arise from the outcome of the Grenfell Tower enquiry on the Council and asked that this be added to the risk matrix for monitoring.

 

Resolved:

 

To note the report

49.

Urgent business

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