Agenda and minutes

Audit & Governance Committee - Thursday 28th March 2024 7.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - Civic Offices. View directions

Contact: Laura Kirman  Tel: 01992 564243 Email:

No. Item


Webcasting Introduction

This meeting is to be webcast. The Chairman will read the following announcement:


I would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the internet (or filmed) and will be capable of repeated viewing (or another use by third parties).


If you are seated in the lower public seating area then it is likely that the recording cameras will capture your image and this will result in the possibility that your image will become part of the broadcast.


This may infringe your human and data protection rights and if you wish to avoid this then you should move to the upper public gallery.


Could I please also remind Members to activate their microphones before speaking”.



The Chairman made a short address to remind everyone present that the meeting would be broadcast live to the internet, and would be capable of repeated viewing, which could infringe their human and data protection rights.


Declarations of Interest

To declare interests in any item on the agenda for the meeting of the Committee.



There were no declarations of interest made pursuant to the Council’s Members’ Code of Conduct.



Minutes pdf icon PDF 118 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 15 February 2024.



The External Auditor highlighted that work on the audit of accounts for 2022/23 had not started and suggested this that minute 31 was amended accordingly.




That pending the above amendment the minutes of the meeting held on 21 February 2024 be taken as read and signed by the Chairman as a correct record.


Matters Arising

To consider any matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting of the Committee.


The Charmian advised that a recommendation to appoint two competitively selected co-opted members to the Audit & Governance Committee would be made to Council on 9 April 2024.



Audit & Governance Committee - Work Programme pdf icon PDF 89 KB

To consider the attached work programme for the Committee for 2023/24.



The Committee noted its Work Programme for 2023/24.




External Auditor Update pdf icon PDF 1 MB

(Deloitte, External Auditor) To consider the following reports:

a)    Audit Planning Report 2021/22, and

b)    ISO 260 Report 2021/22

Additional documents:


The External Auditor, Mohammed Ramzan, provided an overview of the audit planning report for 2021/22. This was followed by an update on the ISO 260 report, which was near completion. The key messages of the report were highlighted to the Committee. Progress on the Value for Money Audit was good, and the report commentary would be combined for the years 2021/22 and 2022/23.  The Committee were advised that based on the status of the audit, it was envisaged that an unmodified audit opinion would be issued. A final version of the report would be presented to Committee.


The Committee received clarification around Council’ s Componentisation Policy, components of historic infrastructure assets had been difficult to ascertain but had met the requirements of the external auditor, who had provided specific recommendations in the report.




The Committee considered the audit planning report and the ISO 260 report for 2021/22.


Risk Management pdf icon PDF 99 KB


(Strategic Director Corporate and Section 151 Officer) To consider and comment on the risk management report.


Additional documents:



The Head of Internal Audit, Sarah Mash, updated the Committee and on risk management report. The reduced risk in relation to: business continuity plans, climate change, and waste delivery service were highlighted. The Committee were advised that the quality if decision making on major planning applications had been escalated to a corporate risk.

Committee raised several queries and were advised that:

There was an action plan in relation to climate change.

The right to buy receipts were built into the HRA Business Plan, additional details would be provided.

There was a risk of designation from Government for the quality of decision on major planning applications, and the mitigation needed to relate to the KPI.



The Committee reviewed and endorsed the risk register to Cabinet for approval, with a recommendation to strengthen the mitigation associated with the PLA004 on the quality of Major planning decisions.


Internal Audit Progress Report pdf icon PDF 135 KB

(Head of Internal Audit) To consider and comment on the Internal Audit Progress Report.


Additional documents:


The Senior Auditor, S Linsley, presented the Internal Audit Monitoring Report and updated the Committee on the work completed by internal audit since the previous meeting.


The Committee were requested to cancel the Section 114 Notices audit as the Council had robust spending controls in place and had issued a balanced budget for 2024/25, and to defer the delivery of the Local Plan, and the Council Tax and Business Rates audits. A reasonable level of assurance had been issued for Purchase Cards, and the numbers of recommendations in the audit tracker continued to decrease.


The Committee queried the deferral of audits and were advised that the proposed deferral to 2025/26 for Local Plan, and 2024/25 for Council Tax and Business Rates. The Committee requested that that the Local Plan should be considered in the next municipal year.



The Committee:

      I.        noted the summary of the work of Internal Audit and the Corporate Fraud Team for the period February to March 2024

    II.        approved the cancellation of the Section 114 Notices audit and the deferral of the Council Tax and Business Rates audit until next year, and

   III.        requested that the deferral of the Loal Plan delivery be brought back to the next meeting of the Committee.


Audit Strategy and Audit Plan 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 169 KB

(Head of Internal Audit) To consider the interal audit strategy and audit plan 2024/25.


Additional documents:


Sarah Marsh , Head of Internal Audit presented the report to  Committee and the  Internal Audit mission and core principles, and the key elements of  the report. A new Standard for audit across all sectors had been published the and the impact of this would be considered and reported back to Committee.


The Committee were advised how the audit plan was developed using a risk-based approach and it was noted that the priority areas had not changed from previous years.


The Committee received assurance that there were adequate resources to deliver the plan.



The Committee

      I.        considered the effectiveness and contribution of the Internal Audit Strategy and Plan within the Council’s assurance framework and

    II.        approved the Internal Audit Strategy and Plan for 2024/25.


Corporate Fraud Team Plan 2024/25 pdf icon PDF 135 KB

To consider he attached corporate fraud plan


Martin Crowe, Team Leader of Corporate Fraud Team, introduced the report which set out focus and approach of the Corporate Fraud Team for the year 2024/25. The approach had both reactive and proactive elements. A fraud awareness training package for Members was being developed and this would be rolled out to officers. The National Fraud Initiative data matching exercise would be caried out.


The Committee were advised that:

·         the number of referrals was in the hundreds, specific figures would be provided, however the of quality of referrals was variable and each case was riak assess and prioritised, and in some cases were flagged to other departments.

·         it was unusual to refer cases to the Police as the Fraud Team could had a range of powers and could carry out prosecutions.




The Committee approved the Corporate Fraud Team Plan for 2024/25


Any Other Business

Section 100B(4)(b) of the Local Government Act 1972 requires that the permission of the Chairman be obtained, after prior notice to the Chief Executive, before urgent business not specified in the agenda (including a supplementary agenda of which the statutory period of notice has been given) may be transacted.


No other business was raised for consideration by the Committee.



Exclusion of Public and Press


To consider whether, under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the public and press should be excluded from the meeting for the items of business set out below on grounds that they will involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in the following paragraph(s) of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act (as amended) or are confidential under Section 100(A)(2):


Agenda Item No


Exempt Information Paragraph Number





The Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006, which came into effect on 1 March 2006, requires the Council to consider whether maintaining the exemption listed above outweighs the potential public interest in disclosing the information. Any member who considers that this test should be applied to any currently exempted matter on this agenda should contact the proper officer at least 24 hours prior to the meeting.


Background Papers: 

Article 17 of the Constitution (Access to Information) define background papers as being documents relating to the subject matter of the report which in the Proper Officer's opinion:


(a)        disclose any facts or matters on which the report or an important part of the report is based;  and


(b)        have been relied on to a material extent in preparing the report and does not include published works or those which disclose exempt or confidential information and in respect of executive reports, the advice of any political advisor.


The Council will make available for public inspection one copy of each of the documents on the list of background papers for four years after the date of the meeting. Inspection of background papers can be arranged by contacting either the Responsible Officer or the Democratic Services Officer for the particular item.




The Committee noted that there was no business which necessitated the exclusion of the public and press from the meeting.