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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Room 4, Town Hall, Upper Street, N1 2UD

Contact: Zoe Lewis  020 7527 3486

Items
No. Item

16.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies for lateness were received from Councillor Gill and apologies for absence were received from Alan Begg.

17.

Declaration of substitute members

Minutes:

There were no declarations of substitute members.

18.

Declarations of interest

If you have a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest* in an item of business:

§  if it is not yet on the council’s register, you must declare both the existence and details of it at the start of the meeting or when it becomes apparent;

§  you may choose to declare a Disclosable Pecuniary Interest that is already in the register in the interests of openness and transparency. 

In both the above cases, you must leave the room without participating in discussion of the item.

 

If you have a personal interest in an item of business and you intend to speak or vote on the item you must declare both the existence and details of it at the start of the meeting or when it becomes apparent but you may participate in the discussion and vote on the item.

 

*(a)     Employment, etc - Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain.

(b) Sponsorship - Any payment or other financial benefit in respect of your expenses in carrying out duties as a member, or of your election; including from a trade union.

(c) Contracts - Any current contract for goods, services or works, between you or your partner (or a body in which one of you has a beneficial interest) and the council.

(d) Land - Any beneficial interest in land which is within the council’s area.

(e) Licences- Any licence to occupy land in the council’s area for a month or longer.

(f) Corporate tenancies - Any tenancy between the council and a body in which you or your partner have a beneficial interest.

 (g) Securities - Any beneficial interest in securities of a body which has a place of business or land in the council’s area, if the total nominal value of the securities exceeds £25,000 or one hundredth of the total issued share capital of that body or of any one class of its issued share capital. 

 

This applies to all members present at the meeting.

 

 

Minutes:

In relation to Item B1, Councillor Wayne declared that his wife was Director of Litigation at HMRC.

In relation to Item C3, Councillor Gill declared that he was the Chief Whip.

 

19.

Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Minutes:

 

RESOLVED:

That the minutes of the meeting held on 24 July 2018 be confirmed as an accurate record of proceedings and the Chair be authorised to sign them.

 

Matters Arising from the Minutes:

 

·         The Chair advised that he and the vice-chair had met with officers and discussed topics for a deep dive. It was agreed that the deep dive would focus on Programmes and Transformation. Draft terms of reference had been circulated to councillors on the committee and following a further meeting with officers, these would be circulated to all members. It was anticipated that work would start next month and the report would be available in early 2019.

·         The Chair stated that in relation to the market supplement information that was due to be circulated, an officer had provided a partial response which related to a couple of posts. More information would be provided and this would be discussed further at the next meeting.

 

20.

2017- 18 Internal Audit Annual Report pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In the discussion the following points were made:

·         Recommendations in relation to cross cutting pieces of work such as contract management mostly related to how controls could be better designed.

·         Recommendations in relation to individual services mostly related to the implementation of controls that had already been designed.

·         Future reports should include a simple summary quantitative table.

·         Protocol stated that exit interviews following an audit should be conducted within two weeks of the draft report. Realistically this happened within one month due to diary co-ordination. However, informal meetings were held at the end of the audit and often officers had implemented recommendations before the exit interview.

·         The Off-Payroll Working Through An Intermediary Audit (CC17_3 – IR 35) related to contractors and consultants who set up a limited company for tax reasons. There were legal restrictions on this and if the council did not follow these, it could be liable. Corporately there were good arrangements but there were some issues with schools. Controls had been designed for monitoring future arrangements and HR would be moderating assessment by managers.

·         The Gifts and Hospitality and Declarations of Interest – Employees Audit (CC17_10) found that corporate ownership had not been established and so control design recommendations had been made. The Code of Conduct should be updated and information should be provided to staff via Izzi or the Friday Feature. Follow up actions would be brought to the next meeting. Fraud awareness training would be launched soon and would include a question relating to the Bribery Act.

·         In relation to the Continuous Auditing of Key Financial Systems Audit (R17_3), findings relating to Cash Management and Treasury reported in the previous year had been implemented in 2017-18. However, other weaknesses were noted during the testing process which resulted in limited assurance. Overall it was a mixed picture; with Treasury Management and Parking remaining Moderate; and Council Tax & NNDR remaining Substantial, when compared to the last time these areas were tested in 2015/16. On the whole, key financial systems were working and so the overall rating was Moderate. The council did not operate a purchase order system but mitigations were in place. Consideration was being given to purchasing a new HR and Finance system and any system would include a purchase order system. In relation to suspense accounts, these should be cleared in 30 days. Bank reconciliations had been done but some did not include the name of the authorising officer.

·         In relation to the SEN Transport Audit (CS17_2), it was not the case that staff were working without a DBS check but there had been an issue with renewals being flagged and reconciliation with HR records. All recommendations had been accepted and there would be clear lines of responsibility, better joined up working and consideration of value for money issues. It was clear that service delivery was at the heart of what the team did.

·         In relation to the Hargrave School Audit (CS17.5), the officer would provide a response outside of the meeting.

·         The Hornsey  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.

21.

External Auditor Reports pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In response to a question submitted by Alan Begg, the officer advised that the Pension Fund Certificate had been issued on 24 September 2018. 

 

RESOLVED:

That the report be noted.

22.

Whistleblowing Report pdf icon PDF 204 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair stated that the number of referrals were broadly consistent with those expected and all the enquiries had been dealt with properly and proportionately.

 

RESOLVED:

That the report be noted.

23.

Annual Standards and Members Conduct report pdf icon PDF 92 KB

Minutes:

In response to a question that had been submitted by Alan Begg, the chair advised that the budget for external training courses in 2018-19 was £10,000. This included a top up from underspends in other member related budgets as it was anticipated that there would be additional spend as there were 13 new members.

 

RESOLVED:

That the report be noted.