Agenda and minutes

Audit and Standards Committee - Wednesday, 21st July, 2021 5.30 p.m.

The Agenda for this meeting will be published 5 clear working days before the scheduled date of the meeting. The Minutes and Decisions for this meeting will normally be published within 9 working days following the date of the meeting.

Note: this does not apply to Scrutiny Working Groups or Scrutiny Commissioners meetings, please contact the relevant Scrutiny Officer for more information on the work programme for these Groups.

Venue: Council Chamber - Council Offices, Narborough. View directions

Contact: Katie Saunders  0116 272 7638

Items
No. Item

57.

Election of Chairman

Minutes:

In the absence of the Chairman and Vice-Chairman the Democratic Services and Scrutiny Officer invited nominations from the Committee Members for the election of Chairman for this meeting only.

58.

Disclosures of Interest

To receive disclosures of interests from Members (i.e. the existence and the nature of those interests in respect of items on this agenda).

Minutes:

No disclosures were received.

59.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 127 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 20 April 2021 (enclosed). 

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on 20 April 2021, as circulated, were approved as a correct record.

60.

Internal Audit Progress Report 2021/22 Q1 pdf icon PDF 213 KB

To consider the report of the Shared Service Audit Manager (enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Considered – Report of the Shared Service Audit Manager.

 

Cllr. Paul Hartshorn raised his concerns with the Track and Trace app alerting individuals to isolate, and asked what impact this has had on Council staff.

 

The Section 151 Officer responded that within the period of this report, Covid 19 had affected 3 individuals. Current staff guidance requires staff to work from home if they are able and well enough to do so, and they should avoid working from the Council Offices.

 

The Section 151 Officer advised that last year the Refuse Team had been affected by Covid 19, resulting in staff having to stay at home to self-isolate. In order to keep the service running, the Council hired agency staff to continue providing the service.

 

Cllr. David Findlay questioned if the Council was expecting a rise in the number of Council Tax Support and Business Rate Support claims once the national furlough scheme has ended.

 

The Strategic Finance Manager responded that Council Tax Support claims were expected to be higher during the pandemic and funds are available should we see an increase once furlough support ends.

61.

Internal Audit Annual Report 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 211 KB

To consider the report of the Shared Service Audit Manager (enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Considered – Report of the Shared Service Audit Manager.

 

Cllr. David Findlay thanked the Finance team for their hard work throughout the pandemic.

62.

CIPFA - Financial Management Code pdf icon PDF 232 KB

To consider the report of the Strategic Finance Manager (enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Considered – Report of the Strategic Finance Manager.

 

 

63.

Risk Management Update pdf icon PDF 271 KB

To consider the report of the Strategic Finance Manager (enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Considered – Report of the Strategic Finance Manager.

 

The Strategic Finance Manager explained that I.T security breaches had been included as a risk to the report and were classed as a red risk. He explained the importance of Staff and Members to follow guidance and to reset passwords when prompted.

 

The Strategic Finance Manager confirmed that there are a total of 18 risks and there is currently 13 Covid-19 related risks on the register.

64.

Unaudited Statement of Accounts 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 214 KB

To consider the report of the Strategic Finance Manager (enclosed).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Considered – Report of the Strategic Finance Manager.

 

The Strategic Finance Manager advised Members that the unaudited accounts were still a work in progress and that deadlines have changed by 2 months. The new proposed date of completion may be mid-November. He advised Members that this could cause a knock-on effect on future auditing deadlines.

 

Cllr. Cheryl Cashmore asked if the Council had signed a contract with the current Auditors and whether it would be beneficial to move to another company.

 

The Strategic Finance Manager confirmed that a contract has been signed and that majority of Auditing companies are also seeing significant delays.

 

Members were advised that as well as receiving £1.2 million in emergency funding and compensation for loss of income, the Council has also carried over £2.2 million in unspent funding and the earmark reserves have increased to £18.5 million.

 

The Council has also saved on travel costs due to the pandemic and home working.

 

The General Fund Reserve currently sits at £5.2 million.

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