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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

43.

Apologies for Absence

Minutes:

Apologies were received from Councillor Champion.

44.

Declaration of substitute members

Minutes:

There were no declarations of substitute members.

45.

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:

There were no declarations of interest.

46.

Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 84 KB

Minutes:

 

RESOLVED:

That the minutes of the meeting held on 31 January 2019 be confirmed as an accurate record of proceedings and the Chair be authorised to sign them.

47.

Audit Committee Appointment 2018/2019 pdf icon PDF 127 KB

Minutes:

 

RESOLVED:

1) To note that Councillor Caluori had stepped down as a substitute on the Personnel Sub-Committee.

2) That Councillor O’Halloran be appointed as a substitute on the Personnel Sub-Committee for the municipal year 2018/10 or until a successor is appointed.

 

48.

Principal Risk Report pdf icon PDF 445 KB

Minutes:

In the discussion the following points were made:

·         The approach to drafting the principal risk report was a bottom-up approach. The outlined risks were drawn up by departmental management teams and then confirmed with the corporate management board (CMB).

·         The report provided information on the likelihood and impact of risks and mitigating actions. Quarterly updates on mitigating actions were due to be taken to CMB from 2019/20.

·         In relation to cyber risk, an internal audit piece of work called white hat audit would be undertaken in 2019/20 to provide a steer surrounding cyber security. PwC would undertake this work and outcomes would be brought to the Audit Committee in due course as part of a wider Internal Audit update report.

·         The council had done a lot of work on ensuring readiness for GDPR.

·         Changes in programme delivery would alter the impact and profile of the risk e.g. new homes programme, although it was anticipated that the risks would be more delivery related than financial.

·         There was a risk of increased fraud in the current economic climate. This risk would need to be considered more proactively than was the case in the past.

·         The most significant risk was Brexit. The immediate risks to the council were discussed along with contingency measures. The external auditors welcomed the council’s approach to preparing for the risks surrounding Brexit.

·         Work was taking place with those who had small businesses.

·         Concern was raised about support for British nationals abroad and whether there would be a potential increase in homelessness. The Corporate Director, Children’s Services who ran the council’s Brexit working group said groups supporting those abroad thought this was a low risk but she would look into it.

 

RESOLVED:

That the report be noted.

49.

2019-20 Internal Audit Plan pdf icon PDF 93 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In the discussion the following points were made:

·         The plan was realistic the resourcing allocated to individual audits had been increased to 20 days.

·         It was anticipated the vacancies in the team could be filled by June 2019 but it could be earlier.

·         Few audits had been carried over from the previous year and the team was on target to achieve the plan by early 2019/20. The quality and depth of testing was good and the audit plan focussed on principal risks.

·         The Chair thanked Internal Audit for their engagement in the 2018/19 municipal year.

 

RESOLVED:

That the 2019-20 Internal Audit Plan be noted.

50.

E&R Overtime Audit - Update pdf icon PDF 146 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate Director of Environment and Regeneration attended for this item.

 

·         In the discussion the following points were made:

·         This audit started as a fraud case. There had been problems with poor systems and a lack of control. During this time a service manager vacancy had been held and services had been inherited but with a £3m cost saving.

·         Pressures on the service, high sickness levels, dependency on agency staff, overtime being used to solve problems and poor local management were all factors.

·         A major vehicle replacement programme had recently taken place which meant vehicles were more reliable and less overtime was required to complete tasks. Overtime now required pre and post authorisation.

·         Digitalisation was being used to help managers.

·         The council’s approach to budget setting this year involved both pre-scrutiny and post-scrutiny which should provide more rigor and challenge to the budget.

·         The Corporate Directors of E&R and for People would raise this matter at the Chief Executive’s Corporate Management Board and if there were any departments with similar profiles where remedial action was necessary, it would be taken.

 

RESOLVED:

1)    That the report be noted.

2)    That an update report be submitted to the Committee in six months’ time.

51.

Identifiable Risks From A No-Deal Brexit

Minutes:

The Corporate Director for People attended for this item.

 

RESOLVED:

That this item be considered under the Principal Risk Report (Minute 48).

52.

External Auditor Reports pdf icon PDF 103 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

In the discussion the following points were made:

·         The external auditors had not identified any significant risks which were based on specific issues in Islington.

·         Not many issues had been identified and the council had a good level of accounts and pension funds.

·         The external auditors were happy with the approach from the council.

 

RESOLVED:

1) That the External Audit Plan for the Council and Pension Fund for the year ending 31 March 2019 be noted and approved.

2) That the Annual Report on Grants and Returns for 2017/18 be noted.

 

53.

Gender Pay Gap

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

This item was withdrawn from the agenda.

54.

Any Other Business

Minutes:

As this was the last meeting of the municipal year, the Chair thanked officers and advised them the committee appreciated their support and the transparency in helping the committee to fulfil its role.