Agenda and minutes

Audit Committee - Tuesday, 15th December 2020 6.00 pm

Venue: Virtual Meeting

Contact: Claire Turner  (01522) 873619 Email:

No. Item


Confirmation of Minutes - 17 November 2020 pdf icon PDF 158 KB


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 17 November 2020 be confirmed.


Declarations of Interest

Please note that, in accordance with the Members' Code of Conduct, when declaring interests members must disclose the existence and nature of the interest, and whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) or personal and/or pecuniary.


No declarations of interest were received.


Annual Governance Statement Monitoring pdf icon PDF 306 KB

Additional documents:




Internal Audit Progress Report pdf icon PDF 34 KB

Additional documents:


John Scott, Audit Manager:


a.    presented the Internal Audit Progress Report to Audit Committee, incorporating the overall position reached so far and summaries of the outcome of audits completed during the period September to November 2020, as detailed at Appendix A


b.    highlighted that Audit Committee held the responsibility for receiving a regular progress report from Internal Audit on the delivery of the Internal Audit Plan as a key requirement of public sector internal audit standards


c.    detailed the content of the report covering the following main areas:


·         Progress Against the Plan

·         Summary of Audit Work

·         Implementation of Audit Recommendations

·         Current Areas of Interest Relevant to the Audit Committee


d.    advised that in line with corporate strategy responding to the pandemic during the early part of 20/21 audit resources were redeployed to deliver key services, supporting business and protecting the most vulnerable.


e.    explained that as a result of this and due to the organisations overall response to the pandemic the 20/21 audit plan was reduced in size and effectively commenced in September 2020. It was intended that sufficient audit coverage would be undertaken to meet statutory responsibilities ad provide and audit opinion for 20/21 across governance, risk and internal control.


f.     advised that as a result of the second national lock down and now tier 2 restrictions the audit resources had again be diverted to support the assurance processes around the payment of business support grants. As a result there would be an impact on the audit plan which would be reviewed and re-prioritised in January 2021.


g.    invited committees questions and comments


Question: Expressed concern that the Audit Team were still being utilised to deal with the business grants.


Response: There was a minimum amount of work that was required to be completed to provide assurance each year. Staff had now been brought back to provide support to the audit work. An Audit plan would be brought to a future meeting for consideration.


RESOLVED that the report be accepted and the monitoring arrangements be continued.



Internal Audit Recommendations Follow Up pdf icon PDF 17 KB

Additional documents:



John Scott, Audit Manager:


a)    presented an update to Audit Committee on outstanding audit recommendations including recommendations over 12 months old.


b)    referred to Appendix A attached to his report which provided details of relevant audits, outstanding recommendations, agreed actions and the current position/explanation from the service manager


c)    invited members’ questions and comments.


Question: Did the HMO Licensing and Hazards include the Trusted Landlord Scheme?


Response: Yes, it formed part of their work.


Question:  A Housing Company on Facebook had publicly questioned  the standard of some of the HMO properties that had been accredited by the Councils Trusted Landlord Scheme and asked if this would be addressed as part of the audit?


Response: Yes, this would be looked into further and a response would be sought from Management on this matter.



RESOLVED that updates on Audit Recommendations older than 12 months be noted.



Fraud and Error Half Year Report 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 235 KB

Additional documents:


John Scott, Audit Manager


a.    presented the Fraud and Error half year report as attached at Annex A of the report.


b.    advised that Covid-19 had some impact in terms of delaying some pro-active work for 2020/21 and this was outlined in the report and action plan.


c.    advised that the report covered key messages, investigations proactive work, fraud partnerships , referrals and action plans and highlighted the following key areas:


·         Housing Benefit/ Council Tax Support

·         Cyber Crime and Cyber Security

·         National Non Domestic Business Rates and Small Business Rate Relief

·         Council Tax – Single Person Discount

·         Housing tenancy

·         NFI – National Fraud Initiative

·         Grants

·         Fraud Strategy and Policy Review

·         Whistleblowing

·         Fraud Awareness

·         Fraud Risk Register


d.    invited committees questions and comments.


Question: Referred to grants at paragraph 11 of the report and asked if different people would be involved in the fraud work than in the processing of the business grants.


Response: The individual risk assessment and framework had to go to government, we could be subject to independent spot checks.


RESOLVED that the Fraud and Error Half Year Report 2020/21 be noted.


Audit Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 15 KB

Additional documents:


John Scott, Audit Manager:


a.    presented a report to inform members of Audit Committee on the work programme for 2020/21 as detailed at Appendix A of the report.


b.    advised that the frequency if meetings had been reviewed and revised to take into account impacts relating to the pandemic and was considered appropriate for 2020/21.


RESOLVED that the contents of the Audit Committee work programme 2020/21 be noted.