Agenda and minutes

Audit Committee
Thursday, 24th September, 2015 7.00 pm

Venue: Civic Offices, St Nicholas way, Sutton, SM1 1EA

Contact: Susanne Wicks, Committee Support Team Leader  Tel: 020 8770 6540 | Email:  susanne.wicks@sutton.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

13.

Apologies for absence

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Ali Mirhashem.

14.

Declaration of interests

Minutes:

Councillor Adrian Davey declared a non-pecuniary interest in any items relating to the NHS, due to his employment with Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group.

15.

Minutes of the last meeting pdf icon PDF 90 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the meeting held on 18 June 2015.

Minutes:

RESOLVED:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 18 June 2015 are agreed as an accurate record.

16.

Member Development - Annual Accounts

Minutes:

The Head of Business Data and Reporting, Michael Mackie, delivered a presentation to the Committee on the Statement of Accounts 2014/15.  The presentation covered:

 

·                     The history of the statement of accounts

·                     Materiality and qualification of the accounts.

·                     The format and main features of the accounts.

·                     Future challenges. 

 

The Committee asked detailed questions, to which officers responded.

 

17.

Audit Report on the Statement of Accounts 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 306 KB

To consider the audit findings for the London Borough of Sutton accounts 2014/15 and for the London Borough of Sutton Pension Fund 2014/15.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Christian Heeger, Engagement Lead, and Nicholas White, Senior Manager from Grant Thornton presented the audit report on the Statement of Accounts 2014/15.  Christian Heeger advised that an updated version of the report will be published in due course.

 

Christian Heeger updated the Committee on progress since 9 September when the agenda was published, and advised that most information required to support audit testing has been supplied.  There are currently three elements remaining on the list of audit testing to be completed, but Christian Heeger advised that the opinion is likely to be signed on Monday 28 or Tuesday 29 September. 

 

Tom Ball, Engagement Manager, Grant Thornton presented the Audit Findings for the Pension Fund and updated the Committee on progress since the report was published. 

 

The Committee asked detailed questions which were answered by Grant Thornton and LB Sutton officers.

 

 

18.

Statement of Accounts 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 106 KB

To agree the Letters of Representation to the Auditors and to approve the Statement of Accounts 2014/15.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Phil Butlin, the Executive Head of Finance, and Michael Mackie, Head of Business Data and Reporting, presented the Statement of Accounts 2014/15. 

 

Michael Mackie advised that there had been four adjustments since the publication of the draft accounts at the end of June, only one of which was reflected in the revised accounts circulated with the meeting papers. He circulated a copy of the revised main statements and explained that two of the errors were categorised as trivial so there was no requirement to include them in Grant Thornton’s report. 

 

The Committee noted their thanks to officers in Finance for their work on the Statement of Accounts.

 

RESOLVED:  That the Audit Committee:

 

1.            Receives Grant Thornton’s Audit Findings Report on the 2014/15 main Sutton Accounts Audit and note the comments made and the proposed unqualified opinion.

 

2.            Receives Grant Thornton’s Audit Findings Report on the 2014/15 Pension Fund Audit and note the comments made and the unqualified opinion given.

 

3.            Agrees the two Letters of Representation to the Auditors, and the responses to the Action Plans set out in the Audit Findings Reports.

 

4.            Approves the 2014/15 Statement of Accounts as amended including the Council’s Annual Governance Statement.

 

5.            Notes the unqualified Value for Money conclusion included in the Annual Auditors Report.

 

19.

Treasury Management Quarterly report Q1 2015-16 pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Minutes:

The Interim Head of Financial Strategy and Planning, Sue Hogg, introduced this report and outlined key points for the attention of the Committee. 

 

RESOLVED:  That the Audit Committee notes the Treasury Management Activity undertaken during the first three months of the financial year 2015/16. 

 

 

20.

Risk Management Review / Update pdf icon PDF 91 KB

Minutes:

The report was presented by the Senior Audit Manager, Stefan Feeney.

 

RESOLVED:  That the Audit Committee:

 

1.            Considers the findings of the Risk Management Annual Review

            2014-15.

 

2.            Agrees to receive a further annual report in September 2016.

21.

Internal Audit: Proposed Future Arrangements pdf icon PDF 112 KB

Minutes:

The report was introduced by the Executive Head of Finance, Phil Butlin.  He outlined the proposal for Sutton to join an existing shared Internal Audit Service and introduced Margaret Culleton, the Interim Head of Audit and Investigations. 

 

In response to questions about the shared service, Margaret Culleton explained that, should Sutton join the shared service, the Strategic Director of Resources will sit on the Shared Service Board, to ensure that the Council have appropriate influence over the planning, delivery and performance of the service. 

 

Gerald Almeroth, the Strategic Director of Resources advised that he has delegated authority for the decision for to Sutton to join the shared service, but the endorsement of the Audit Committee was being sought.   

 

Phil Butlin gave further detail on how the shared service will lead to financial savings for LB Sutton, and confirmed that a model will be developed in order to ensure each borough receives the appropriate number of audit days. 

 

RESOLVED:  That the Audit Committee:

 

1.            Notes the interim arrangements for covering the Head of Internal Audit role.

 

2.            Endorses the proposal for Sutton to join the existing shared internal audit service hosted by the London Borough of Richmond, subject to further discussions with the other parties and consultation with staff affected.

22.

Annual Insurance Review 2014-2015 pdf icon PDF 96 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Julie Turner, Head of Revenues, Benefits, Insurance and Pensions, introduced this report.  Heather Hall, Insurance Claims Manager was also present to respond to Councillor questions. 

 

Heather Hall gave further detail of the three significant insurance claims referred to in the report, and explained the reasons for the difference in loss ratios for the integrated insurance services.

 

RESOLVED:  That the Audit Committee notes the Annual Insurance Review 2014/15.

23.

Fraud Referrals and Investigations update pdf icon PDF 102 KB

Minutes:

This report was presented by Margaret Culleton, Interim Head of Audit & Investigations, together with Kevin Holland, the Manager of the South West London Fraud Partnership (SWLFP).  They responded to questions from the Committee.

 

Kevin Holland undertook to provide comparative data in future reports, to show information on LB Sutton fraud referrals compared to the other boroughs in the partnership.  Gerald Almeroth reminded the Committee that Kevin Holland will be delivering a member training session to the next meeting. 

 

RESOLVED:  That the Audit Committee notes the report.

24.

Audit Committee work plan pdf icon PDF 51 KB

The Committee’s Work Plan is attached.

Minutes:

Members were asked to advise the Executive Head of Finance, Phil Butlin of suggested topics for member development.

25.

Any urgent items brought forward at the discretion of the Chair

The Chair must approve the reason for urgency.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

26.

Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the Audit Committee will take place on 10 December at 7 pm.

Minutes:

The next meeting will take place on 10 December 2015.