Hounslow Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Lampton Road, Hounslow. View directions

Contact: Mike Smith, tel 020 8583 2069, e-mail  mike.smith@hounslow.gov.uk 

No. Item


Presentation from external auditors Deloitte in relation the role of the Audit Committee in the process of approval of the annual statement of accounts pdf icon PDF 1 MB


The Committee received a PowerPoint presentation from Quraisha Rawat on behalf of the external auditor Deloitte.  The presentation concerned the role of the Audit Committee in the process of approval of the annual statement of accounts.


It was agreed that it would be helpful if the presentation was recirculated with the papers for the next meeting where the statement of accounts was due to be considered.


A request was also made that a review of the first year of the Audit Committee to be reported to the next meeting.


Minutes of the meeting held on 15 January 2014 pdf icon PDF 59 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 15 January 2014 were confirmed.


Any matters arising from the minutes


Minute 21 - Accounting Treatment of the Residual Waste Contract


Andrea White questioned whether there had been further consideration of the accounting treatment of the residual waste contract since the matter was raised at the last meeting.  Ian O'Donnell confirmed that wider advice was being sought and an accounting suite of performance indicators was being developed.


Minute 24 - Risk Register


With reference to a request made at the last meeting officers undertook to ensure that there was an indication of the stage of completion and likely timescale in the “management actions planned” column of the register.


Declarations of interest

Members are reminded that if they have a personal interest in any matter being discussed at the meeting they must declare the interest and if the interest is also a prejudicial interest then they may not take part in any discussion or vote on the matter


There were no declarations of interest.


General Update pdf icon PDF 261 KB


See the report of the Treasurer and Director. 


Jay Patel, Head of Finance and Performance, updated the Committee on various aspects of audit and governance functions.


He reported that the risk associated with the use of agency staff had reduced from Amber to the Green (item 7).  He expected the level of staff absence to continue to reduce following the introduction of a new Management of Absence policy (item 8).  A new risk had been added regarding the financial control of the residual waste contract although after allowing for mitigating measures it was regarded as Green (item 23).  It was expected that the Authority would have its own bank accounts in place by the beginning of the new financial year in April 2014.


Andrea White felt that the risk associated with contract management should be included on the register as the recent internal audit review had identified a number of priority recommendations.  Councillor Colin Ellar also shared the view that the contract management be included on the risk register.  Susan Dixson, Head of Internal Audit, confirmed that the outcomes of the contract management audit were being monitored and she was awaiting further management information.  Ian O'Donnell, Treasurer, stated that the project team members working on the residual waste procurement were being retained to oversee implementation of the contract.  He suggested that the risks related to financial management of the contract but agreed that risks associated generally with contract management should be on the register.


Ian O'Donnell gave a brief update on the situation regarding the future operation of the Victoria Road HRRC (item 22).


Officers were requested to provide a timetable for introduction of the proposed staff performance management system.  The cashless system for HRRC sites was expected to go live in April 2014.  The changes would be publicised in advance.


Resolved -


(a)      That the year end timetable for financial close be noted.


(b)      That, subject to including risks associated with contract management, the updated risk register set out at appendix 1 to the report be noted.


(c)      That, subject to confirming the timetable for introduction of a staff performance management system, the updated governance action plan and finance action plan as set out at appendix 2 to the report be noted.


(d)      That the procurement of internal audit services be noted.


(e)      That the progress on internal audit actions as set out in appendices three and four of the report be noted.


Dates of meetings

The Audit Committee will meet at Houslow Civic Centre at 7pm on Wednesday:


18 June 2014

10 Sepember 2014


It was noted that it was likely to be impractical to convene a meeting of the Audit Committee on the proposed date of 18 June 2014 because of the proximity to the municipal elections on 22 May 2014.  In those circumstances it was proposed that any Audit Committee business required to be considered before the summer recess be put to the Authority meeting on 27 June 2014.  The Independent Member would be invited to the Authority meeting to be part of the consideration of Audit Committee related business.  The next meeting of the Audit Committee would therefore be on 10 September 2014.


A request was made that members be sent Outlook appointments for meetings.