Agenda and minutes

Venue: Hendon Town Hall, The Burroughs, London NW4 4BG

Contact: Tracy Scollin 020 8359 2315 Email: tracy.scollin@barnet.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

59.

Minutes of last two meetings pdf icon PDF 97 KB

60.

Absence of Members (If any)

61.

Declaration of Members' Disclosable Pecuniary interests and Non Pecuniary interests (If any)

    Minutes:

    Councillor Mittra noted a pecuniary interest under Item 7 – his mother owns a nursery in Barnet. He would leave the meeting for this item.

     

    Councillor Zinkin disclosed a non-pecuniary interest – he is involved with a charity that runs a nursery.

     

    Councillor Finn noted that he had a non-pecuniary interest in relation to the Menorah High School for Girls (Item 7).

     

    The Chairman stated that Members with a non-pecuniary interest could choose whether to leave the room or not.

     

     

     

62.

Report of the Monitoring Officer (If any)

63.

Public Question and Comments (If any)

64.

Members' Items (If any)

65.

Internal Audit Exception Recommendations Report and Q2 Progress Report, 1 July - 30 September 2017 pdf icon PDF 289 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Head of Internal Audit introduced the report. The Committee discussed this and asked questions to the relevant Director(s), or their representatives:

     

    ·         Changes had been made to the Audit Plan for Family Services and work was ongoing to help support their improvement plan. The Audit Team would work with Family Services to ensure that the previous recommendations were implemented.

    Action

     

    ·         Councillor Cooke questioned when information on the Regeneration Benefits Realisation audit became available and why papers had not been provided to the Re Working Group. Cllr Cooke asked for a report on the Regeneration Benefits Realisation audit to be made in future to the Performance and Contract Management Committee (PCMC). The Head of Internal Audit stated that the responsible officers were expected to share the report with the Chair of the Assets, Regeneration and Growth Committee. The Chairman of the PCMC (Councillor Finn) agreed to Councillor Cooke’s request and it was noted that the next PCMC meeting would be held on 28 November.

    Action

     

    ·         The Head of Internal Audit noted that limited assurance had been given to Menorah High School - its first audit since its change to a local authority school in 2016. This was in relation to procedural issues only and nothing untoward had been discovered. The Audit Team would follow up to ensure that high-priority matters had been addressed.

    Action

     

    It was noted that there was no knowledge of previous audits when it had been a private school. Cllr Cooke asked what due diligence was carried out by the Council and suggested that the Children, Education, Libraries and Safeguarding Committee (CELS) be made aware of this in case a similar situation arose in the future; the Chairman agreed to ensure that this was passed on.

    Action

     

    (Mr Harbord arrived - 7.22pm)

     

    ·         Councillor Mittra enquired why the completion deadline dates for Estates Health and Safety Compliance were being revised and pushed forward into the future (page 41 of the committee papers. The Head of Internal Audit noted that this was due to the action requiring formal agreement of a change to the CSG contract which would take time. She would provide an update in the next quarterly report.

    Action

     

    ·         Councillor Levine asked which option of Estates Health and Safety Compliance (client-side Compliance Officer or CSG’s own arrangements, page 44 of the committee papers) would be chosen. The Head of Internal Audit noted that the second option was likely but she would check whether this had been agreed formally.

    Action

     

    ·         Councillor Cooke asked the Committee to note that Officers had put in a great deal of audit effort in relation to IT change management to get it to a satisfactory level and further audits were planned. Notwithstanding this Councillor Cooke still regarded it as an ‘at risk’ area. It was noted that three more audits were planned.

     

    Councillors Zinkin and Mittra left the room due to their conflicts of interest in relation to nurseries.

     

    An update on the Nursery Places audit was given and the report was noted.

     

    The  ...  view the full minutes text for item 65.

66.

Improvement Plan pdf icon PDF 269 KB

    Additional documents:

    Minutes:

    The Resources Director presented her report (which included at Appendix A the Accounts Closure Improvement Plan) on the audit process and pension fund.

     

    It was noted that the objective was to have the accounts audited by the end of July from 2018 onwards. This was the statutory deadline.

     

    The Chairman advised that he would urge all Members to submit any required declarations on time.

    Action

     

    The Resources Director reported that an interim audit would take place in January/February which would highlight any risk areas in advance.

     

    Mr Lloyd-Thomas (BDO) reported that plans were being looked at to try to complete work earlier in the cycles though the closing balance sheet was always the most difficult. The Assistant Director of Finance noted that there would be a partial close at the end of December.

     

    Councillor Levine asked about the additional costs incurred and whether these could be recouped from Capita. The Resources Director would report back on this in due course but the amount would have to be negotiated.

    Action

     

    RESOLVED:

     

    1.    That Audit Committee consider and comment on the Accounts Closure Improvement Plan;

    2.    That the Audit Committee is asked to note that progress against this plan will be presented to its meeting on 31 January 2018.

     

     

     

67.

Accounts Preparation Timetable (verbal update)

    Minutes:

    The Chairman reported that this new standing item was intended as an aide memoire for Members. As usual a meeting would take place to run through the draft accounts towards the end of May/beginning of June as part of the increased assurance process.

     

     

68.

External Auditor Progress Report (verbal update)

69.

Corporate Anti-Fraud Team (CAFT) Q2 Progress Report 2017-18 pdf icon PDF 250 KB

70.

Audit Committee Work Programme, November 2017- April 2018 pdf icon PDF 180 KB

71.

Any item(s) the Chairman decides are urgent