Agenda and minutes

Audit Committee - Thursday, 25 July 2019 8.30 pm

Venue: Goddard Room, Council Offices, Knowle Green, Staines-upon-Thames TW18 1XB

Contact: Chris Curtis  Email:

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 45 KB

To confirm the minutes of the meeting held on 21 May 2019 as an accurate record.


The minutes of the meeting held on 21 May 2019 were approved as a correct record.




Disclosures of Interest

To receive any disclosures of interest from Councillors in accordance with the Council’s Code of Conduct for members.


There were none.




Corporate Risk Management pdf icon PDF 114 KB

To note the report by the Internal Audit Manager and recommend the Corporate Risk Register to Cabinet for approval.


Additional documents:


The Internal Audit Manager presented her report on the Corporate Risk Register.  The Corporate Risk Register identifies significant risks to the Council and how these are managed and monitored.


The Committee were informed that positive progress had been made in a number of areas although some actions had not been fully implemented or were ongoing. There were no risk categories with a red status. The Internal Audit Manager outlined the most significant risks and advised of steps being taken to mitigate these. 


Questions tabled by the Committee in advance of the meeting, and officers’ responses, were circulated and are attached as an appendix to these minutes.


Although the Committee were appreciative of the speed and detail provided by officers to the questions they raised; they expressed dissatisfaction at the failure of some officers to provide information for the Corporate Risk Register within the timeframe requested and would monitor this in future.


Serious concerns were expressed regarding the procurement risk.  The Internal Audit Manager advised that an internal review had recently taken place and was referenced in the report.  The Committee requested that their concerns were passed to the Chief Executive and Head of Corporate Governance.


The Committee noted the addition of the environmental risk and requested that all relevant information is given to the Internal Audit Manager by the relevant Service area (Neighbourhood Services) for the next review of the register to assist in identifying whether any further risk mitigating actions are required.


The Committee resolved to note the contents of the Corporate Risk Register and recommended it to Cabinet for approval subject to the above comments.




Annual Internal Audit Work Summary 2018/19 pdf icon PDF 160 KB

To receive a report by the Internal Audit Manager.


Additional documents:


The Internal Audit Manager presented her report to the Committee, highlighting key issues arising from the 2018/19 period.


The annual Internal Audit work summary sets out the independent audit opinion for the financial year 2018-19 on the adequacy of the Council’s internal control environment, risk management and governance arrangements.   The opinion supports the Annual Governance Statement.


Appendix 1 set out the work undertaken by internal audit in greater detail and included the recommendations issued and assurance opinion for each audit.  The Committee would be provided with a progress report on the implementation of the recommendations in November.


The Committee recommended that the Council should comply with the procurement aspect of the Local Government Transparency Code and requested that a statement is provided citing the reasons should it be decided not to follow the Code.


The Committee resolved to note the annual Internal Audit work summary for 2018/19.




Review of Internal Audit Charter pdf icon PDF 128 KB

To receive a report by the Internal Audit Manager.

Additional documents:


The Internal Audit Manager presented the Internal Audit Charter for review and approval by the Committee.  This sets out the nature of the services that internal audit will provide to help the Council achieve its objectives highlighting the purpose, authority and responsibility of the Internal Audit function. 


The Audit Charter had been reviewed to ensure it was still compliant with the mandatory Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS).  The latest CIPFA statement ‘The role of the Head of Internal Audit’ (published April 2019) had also been taken into consideration as part of the Charter review and the Committee were informed that this places greater emphasis on organisational responsibility to support the role of Internal Audit to enable it to meet expected professional standards.


The Committee expressed their concern at the resources available for internal audit and were advised that there had been some discussion about the submission of a growth bid to the forthcoming budget process.  Internal audit resources was also an item on the work programme for the Committee’s November meeting.


The Committee resolved to approve the Internal Audit Charter.




Annual Governance Statement pdf icon PDF 111 KB

To consider and approve the Annual Governance Statement for 2018/19.


Additional documents:


The Chief Finance Officer presented the draft Annual Governance Statement for 2018/19.  The purpose of the Annual Governance Statement (AGS) is to provide assurance regarding the Council’s governance arrangements. 

The format and wording of the AGS are based upon official guidance. The statement lists the key elements of the Council’s governance framework – those systems and processes which must be effective if there is to be a high standard of governance across the Council.  It lists the key areas where improvement is needed and progress on these is monitored during the following year.

In response to questions from the Committee, the Chief Finance Officer advised that the Council were in the process of procuring external auditors to audit the Knowle Green Estate accounts.  He also provided examples of services that had been protected from the Surrey County Council budget cuts. 

It was resolved that the draft Annual Governance Statement be approved and the improvement actions identified in the Statement be endorsed.

Members of the Committee that did not agree with the resolution were asked to express their concerns in writing.



Update from BDO, External Auditors

To receive a short verbal update from Janine Combrinck, Director RI/Public Sector Assurance, BDO LLP.



Janine Combrinck, Director RI / Public Sector Assurance, BDO provided an update to the Committee on the external audit of the Council’s accounts for the year 2018/19.  The timetable had been shifted due to the ongoing delay in KPMG finalising the value for money opinion for 2017/18.


The Committee resolved to note the update.




Committee Work Programme pdf icon PDF 64 KB

To consider and approve the work programme for the municipal year


The Committee considered its Work Programme for the remainder of the 2019/20 Municipal year.


Resolved that the Committee Work Programme for the remainder of the 2019/20 Municipal year, be approved.