Agenda and draft minutes

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Venue: The Lancastrian, Town Hall, Chorley

Contact: Matthew Pawlyszyn  Email: matthew.pawlyszyn@chorley.gov.uk

Media

Items
No. Item

21.G.20

Minutes of meeting Thursday, 1 April 2021 of Governance Committee pdf icon PDF 207 KB

Minutes:

The minutes were approved as a correct record.

21.G.21

Declarations of Any Interests

Members are reminded of their responsibility to declare any pecuniary interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda.

 

If you have a pecuniary interest you must withdraw from the meeting. Normally you should leave the room before the business starts to be discussed. You do, however, have the same right to speak as a member of the public and may remain in the room to enable you to exercise that right and then leave immediately. In either case you must not seek to improperly influence a decision on the matter.

Minutes:

No interests were declared.

21.G.22

Chorley Borough Council Audit Progress Report - May 2021 pdf icon PDF 3 MB

To receive and consider the report of the External Auditor, Grant Thornton.

Minutes:

Georgia Jones informed the Committee that she was now the Engagement Lead for the 2021 audit. She outlined and summarised the work that was outstanding. Work included a review into the deeper finances and the effectiveness of the Council delivering resources.

 

The 2019/20 audit was still outstanding, and the 2020/21 audit was behind the usual start time but was aimed to be delivered by September, but could be post September, the Committee will be kept up to date.

 

Decision: The update was noted.

21.G.23

Review of Compliance with CIPFA Financial Management Code pdf icon PDF 203 KB

To receive and consider the report of the Director of Finance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Louise Mattinson, Director of Finance presented the CIPFA Management Code. Self-Assessment to be implemented for 2021-22 to ensure compliance as 2020-21 was a shadow year of operation.

 

The Code was a response to the financial circumstances that some Councils have found themselves in, with concerns relating to financial management and overall weakness, Northamptonshire was given as an example.

 

The Code is to support good practice and assist with financial sustainability. Areas covered include leadership, staffing and resource capacity, knowledge, and abilities to ensure sound financial management, and continued improvements over the year.

 

Decision: The update was noted.

21.G.24

Internal Audit Annual Report 20/21 pdf icon PDF 204 KB

To receive and consider the report of the Director of Governance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Dawn Highton, Service Lead Audit and Risk detailed the function of the Internal Audit Report.

 

Covid-19 had an impact on the ability to deliver a detailed review. 2020 did not have a systematic production of management actions. The implementation rate achieved was 64%, below the target, but a baseline to work from.

 

Due to the inability to undertake a significant volume of work, an annual opinion could not be given, this was not a negative for the Council, but was based on the ability to test and provide assurance.

 

Data provided relating to business support grants paid in the early stages of the pandemic had been matched by the National Fraud Initiative (NFI). This did not mean that there was fraudulent activity but does trigger an investigation of the matched applications.

 

The Quality and Assurance Programme will identify where action is needed for delivery over the period of the year.

 

Decision: The report was noted

21.G.25

Review of the Effectiveness of Internal Audit pdf icon PDF 161 KB

To receive and consider the report of the Director of Governance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Dawn Highton explained that the Internal Audit Service needed to comply with public sector standards and undertake periodic assessments using Local Government guidelines. Areas highlighted included the improvements to Service Delivery.

 

In response to questions, Dawn explained that the use of the word ‘partial’, was in place as there had not been a manual review for years and wanted to provide an accurate reflection.

 

Decision: The report was noted.

21.G.26

Annual Review of the Council's Counter Fraud Policies pdf icon PDF 176 KB

To receive and consider the report of the Director of Governance

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The counter fraud polices have been reviewed and updated. Previously there were separate strategies for bribery and fraud, but these have been compiled and aligned with the local guidance from CIPFA

 

The fraud response plan had been updated which included the roles and responsibilities when reported. An update had been made to the whistleblowing policy.

 

The purpose of the policies are to ensure that there is confidence in all levels of the organisation if there were concerns they can be raised, and the process and actions known. The report is to be uploaded to the intranet and the website, and mandatory training to be offered to all Officers.

 

Decision: The report was noted. 

21.G.27

Draft Annual Governance Statement 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 177 KB

To receive and consider the report of the Director of Governance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Dave Whelan Legal Services Team Leader presented the Draft Annual Governance Statement for consideration and approval to ensure the Council maintained a sound system of governance and to demonstrate and review the effectiveness while continuously seeking to achieve best value in delivery.

 

Decision: Members approved the Draft Annual Governance Statement.

21.G.28

RIPA Application Update

The Monitoring Officer will present a verbal report at the meeting.

Minutes:

No RIPA applications have been made.

21.G.29

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 284 KB

To receive and consider the work programme for the Committee.

Minutes:

Decision: The Work Programme was received.