Agenda and minutes

Standards and Audit Committee
Thursday, 19th September, 2019 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices, Gloucester Square, Woking, Surrey GU21 6YL

Contact: Doug Davern  on 01483 743018 or email  doug.davern@woking.gov.uk

Webcast: View the webcast

Items
No. Item

1.

Minutes

To approve the minutes of the meeting of the Standards and Audit Committee held on 18 July 2019 as published.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED

 

That the minutes of the Committee held on 19 September 2019 be approved and signed as a true and correct record.

2.

Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors J Bond, I Johnson and M Whitehand.

3.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of disclosable pecuniary and other interests from Members in respect of any item to be considered at the meeting.

In accordance with the Officer Procedure Rules, the Head of Democratic and Legal Services, Peter Bryant, will declare a disclosable personal interest (non-pecuniary) in any items under which the Thameswey Group of Companies, Brookwood Cemetery or Duke’s Court are discussed, arising from his position as a Director of the subsidiary companies.  The interest is such that speaking is permissible.

In accordance with the Officer Procedure Rules, the Finance Director, Leigh Clarke, will declare a disclosable personal interest (non-pecuniary) in any items under which Duke’s Court is discussed, arising from her position as a Director of Dukes Court Owner T S a r l.  The interest is such that speaking is permissible.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In accordance with the Officer Procedure Rules, the Head of Democratic and Legal Services, Peter Bryant, declared a disclosable personal interest (non-pecuniary) in any items under which the Thameswey Group of Companies, Brookwood Cemetery or Duke’s Court were discussed, arising from his position as a Director of the subsidiary companies. The interest was such that speaking was permissible.

In accordance with the Officer Procedure Rules, the Finance Director, Leigh Clarke, declared a disclosable personal interest (non-pecuniary) in any items under which Duke’s Court was discussed, arising from her position as a Director of Dukes Court Owner T S a r l.  The interest was such that speaking was permissible.

4.

Urgent Business

To consider any business that the Chairman rules may be dealt with under Section 100B(4) of the Local Government Act 1972.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no items of Urgent Business.

5.

Update on External Audit STA19-012 pdf icon PDF 52 KB

Reporting Person – Leigh Clarke

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received an update on the Council’s External Audit which had not yet been completed.  Approximately 40% of Local Government audits had not been finalised on time this year.  Leigh Clarke, Finance Director, stated that no further adjustments or issues had been raised.  The Committee noted that the Council’s External Auditor, BDO, had emphasised the delay was not to the detriment of the Council.  Substantive Audit work had taken place in the areas of asset valuation and pension fund valuation.

 

It was noted that a comment had been made by the External Auditors at the last meeting of the Committee regarding the presentation of the accounts, however due to the staff time taken up by the Audit process and the extent of the readership of the Accounts Leigh Clarke stated that a major change to the formatting would be hard to justify.

 

The Committee was advised that the delayed Audit would not affect the budget setting process for the next financial year.  The Committee would be advised once the Accounts had been formally signed off following the completion of the Audit.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the update be received.

6.

Internal Audit Progress Report STA19-013 pdf icon PDF 89 KB

Reporting Person – James Graham

Additional documents:

Minutes:

James Graham, Head of Internal Audit, introduced the report which summarised the internal audit activity from 1 April 2019 to 30 August 2019, including the progress in delivering the 2019/20 internal audit plan; a summary of limited / nil assurance reports and high priority recommendations; and implementation of recommendations.  Since the publication of the report, the high priority recommendation for IT Disaster Recovery had been implemented.

 

Following questions, it was noted that there should be less work potentially carried forward to the next financial year.  The latest completed audits set out under paragraph 3.5 of the report would be added to the Members’ Ipads.  In addition, with regard to the recommendation regarding the Risk Register and Issues Log documents for the Sheerwater Regeneration Governance, Peter Bryant, Head of Democratic and Legal Services, advised that it had always been intended that the Register and Log would be produced once construction had begun in July 2019.  The Register and Log would be received by the Sheerwater Regeneration Delivery and Oversight Panel once drafting was complete.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the report be received and progress against the 2018/19 Internal Audit Plan and implementation of Internal Audit recommendations be noted.

7.

Members' Code of Conduct STA19-014 pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Reporting Person – Peter Bryant

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee welcomed the report which stated that one complaint had been submitted under the Members’ Code of Conduct over the past year, which had not merited formal investigation.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the report detailing the complaints, submitted under the Members’ Code of Conduct, received by the Monitoring Officer between 1 August 2018 and 31 July 2019 be noted.

8.

Ombudsmen Complaints STA19-015 pdf icon PDF 62 KB

Reporting Person – Peter Bryant

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report which set out details of recent complaints to the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman and the Housing Ombudsman.  There had been two adverse findings against the Council, one of maladministration, with no injustice, arising from the Council’s initial approach to the complaint, and the other relating to not handling a complaint in a timely manner.  The Committee was advised that the procedural errors identified had been rectified by the Council.

 

RESOLVED

 

That the position regarding complaints to the Local Government & Social Care Ombudsman and the Housing Ombudsman be noted.