Agenda and minutes

Audit & Governance Committee - Thursday 29th September 2022 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”.


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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.


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



Minutes pdf icon PDF 104 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 27 June 2022.

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That the minutes of the meeting held on 27 June 2022 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.

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There were no matters arising form the minutes of the previous meetings which warranted further discussion.



Audit & Governance Committee - Work Programme pdf icon PDF 64 KB

To consider the attached work programme for the Committee for 2022/23.


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The Strategic Director Corporate and Section 151 Officer, A Small, advised the Committee that report in relation to the 2019/20 accounts had been received from the External Auditor Deloitte that day, but this was too late to bring to Committee. Mr M Ramzan, Deloitte Ltd advised the Committee that work was continuing with EFDC, and that it was anticipated that reports for both 2019/20 and 2020/21 would be brought to the next committee.


Mr Jarvis acknowledged this was a complex report but suggested that the delays needed to that to be addressed, the Committee agreed that the external Auditors needed to ensure the reports were presented at the next Committee meeting.



The Committee noted its Work Programme for 2022/23.




Risk Management pdf icon PDF 123 KB


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


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The Strategic Director Corporate and Section 151 Officer, A. Small, highlighted that the Officer Group had met and discussed emerging risks around energy costs, the economic crisis and impact on homelessness, health and safety and the progress of the corporate plan, and the potential rent cap. Waste management had been added to the register.

Mr Jarvis brought to the attention of the Committee CIPFA guidance to ensure to that Council’s should have effective risk management for any subsidiary and for commercial activities and suggested this could be pertinent in relation to Qualis. Mr Small reminded the Committee of the Governance arrangements for Qualis and highlighted that the Qualis Business Plan, which incorporated risk, would be scrutinised by the Overview and Scrutiny Cabinet, prior to consideration by Cabinet consideration.

The Committee were advised that majority of loans were fixed rate, short term fixed rates loans would need to be replaced, advice would be sought from Arlingclose and the strategy revisited if required. Alll Qualis loans were on a fixed term basis.



The Committee reviewed and endorsed the risk register.



Internal Audit Progress Report pdf icon PDF 136 KB

(Chief Internal Auditor) To consider and comment on the Internal Audit Progress Report.


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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 Audit Plan was progressing well. Three audits: record relating to: Safes; Right to Buy conveyancing processes; and agency staff had been added to the Audit Plan and commenced.  

No final reports had been issued since the previous Committee meeting.

There were eight overdue items on the recommendation tracker, none of which were high priority.

The team to continue to provide assurance and improve governance processes across the Council including Risk Management and Information Governance arrangements.


The committee challenged the progress on some overdue items which had be present on the previous tracker and noted there were a series of issues to be resolved by management. The Committee looked forward to seeing a reduction in these outstanding items before the next meeting. S marsh outline the process for agreeing recommendations, timescales and monitoring the tracker and welcomed the interest from the Committee



The Committee noted the summary of the work of Internal Audit and the Corporate Fraud Team for the period June to September 2022


Treasury Management Outturn Report 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 191 KB

(Strategic Director Corporate and Section 151 Officer) To consider and provide comment on the treasury management annual outturn report 2021/2.


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The Interim Chief Financial Officer, C Hartgrove, presented the report, he highlighted

·        the borrowing position as at 31 March 2022 was £269.0m an increase of £7.3m on the previous year. £54 m of this borrowing was short term from other Local Authorities, and the remaining £215m was long and short-term borrowing from the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB).

·       the treasury investment position was summarised and had increased by £8.2m from the previous year to £18.7m as at the 31 March 2022. £17m of the total investment was held in Money Market Funds and £1.7m in the Council’s bank account.

·       Non treasury Investments, the Council’s commercial property investment had a closing balance sheet value of £162m compared to £147.3m at the same stage in 2020/21 and an overall net income from the commercial property was £7.5m up from £6.8m in 2020/21, this reflected the additional income generated from new and renegotiated tenancies at North Weald Airfield.

·       The Prudential and Treasury Management indicators had been met in line with the adopted strategy, with the exception of minor short lived technical breaches driven by exceptional cash flows, including Covid funding adjustments dictated by Government and the redemption of a £32.8m HRA loan in March 2022. The Council had opened a government debt management account deposit facility.

·       The corporate finance team had become fully resourced


The Committee acknowledged the two-year delay in the implementation of IFRS 16 and sought clarity on the potential impact. C Hartgrove advised that it was unlikely to a material impact on the Council. The Committee had no further comment on the report.



The Committee noted and recommended the Treasury Management Outturn Report for 2021/22 to full Council.


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.

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It was agreed that specific issues raised by Cllr Heap would, in the first instance, be discussed with Mr A Small.



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.

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