Agenda

Audit Committee - Wednesday, 22nd September, 2021 10.15 am

Venue: Meeting space, Block 1 Floor 2, County Hall, Morpeth, County Hall, Morpeth, NE61 2EF.

Items
No. Item

1.

MEMBERSHIP

To note that Councillor A. Wallace has replaced Councillor L. Grimshaw on the Audit Committee for the ensuing Council year. 

2.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

3.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 239 KB

Minutes of the meeting of the Audit Committee held on 28 July 2021, as circulated, to be confirmed as a true record and signed by the Chair. 

4.

DISCLOSURE OF MEMBERS' INTERESTS

Unless already entered in the Council’s Register of Members’ interests, members are required to disclose any personal interest (which includes any disclosable pecuniary interest) they may have in any of the items included on the agenda for the meeting in accordance with the Code of Conduct adopted by the Council on 4 July 2012, and are reminded that if they have any personal interests of a prejudicial nature (as defined under paragraph 17 of the Code Conduct) they must not participate in any discussion or vote on the matter and must leave the room. NB Any member needing clarification must contact Legal Services by email at monitoringofficer@northumberland.gov.uk  Please refer to the guidance on disclosures at the rear of this agenda letter.

5.

REPORTS OF THE INTERIM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF FINANCE AND SECTION 151 OFFICER

6.

(a) Treasury Management Annual Report for the Financial Year 2020-21 pdf icon PDF 699 KB

This report provides details of performance against the Treasury Management Strategy Statement (TMSS) 2020-21, approved by the County Council on 19 February 2020.  The report provides a review of borrowing and investment performance for 2020-21, set in the context of the general economic conditions prevailing during the year. It also reviews specific Treasury Management prudential indicators defined by the (CIPFA) Treasury Management Code of Practice and CIPFA Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities, (the Prudential Code), and approved by the Authority in the TMSS. 

7.

(b) The Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2021 pdf icon PDF 415 KB

To present the draft (unaudited) Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2021 and raise any significant issues arising from the accounts. 

Additional documents:

8.

(c) Shape Northumberland County Council – Consideration of ‘Going Concern Status’ for the Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2021 pdf icon PDF 262 KB

Northumberland County Council is required to assess whether it should be considered as a ‘going concern’ organisation, and whether the Council’s annual accounts should be prepared on that basis.  This report considers the Council’s status as a going concern and recommends that Members approve this. 

9.

(d) Draft Annual Governance Statement 2020-21

Report to follow. 

10.

(e) Corporate Fraud Team – Counter Fraud Annual Report pdf icon PDF 199 KB

The purpose of this report is to update the Audit Committee on work undertaken by the Corporate Fraud Team within the Council covering the period 1 April 2020 - 31 March 2021. 

11.

REPORT OF THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ADULTS SOCIAL CARE AND CHILDREN’S SERVICES pdf icon PDF 317 KB

Review of External Inspection Reports – Adults and Children’s Services 

 

To inform members of the activity pertaining to Adults and Children's Services regarding external inspections and associated actions.  This is over the period from 1st October 2020 to 30th June 2021. 

 

12.

REPORT OF THE EXTERNAL AUDITOR

2020-21 Progress Report 

 

Report to follow. 

 

 

13.

URGENT BUSINESS

14.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, 24 November 2021 at 10:15 am. 

PART II

It is expected that matters included in this part of the Agenda will be dealt with in private.  Reports referred to are enclosed for members and officers only, coloured pink and marked "Not for Publication".

15.

EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC

The Audit Committee is invited to consider passing the following resolution:  

 

(a) That under Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following items on the Agenda as it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in Part I of Schedule 12A of the 1972 Act, and  

 

(b) That the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosure for the following reasons:-  

 

Agenda Items 

 

16-17Paragraph 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A 

Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding the information). 

 

Disclosure could adversely affect the business reputation or confidence in the person/organisation, and could adversely affect commercial revenue.

 

18Paragraph3 & 4 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A 

Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information), and information relating to any consultations or negotiations, or contemplated consultations or negotiations, in connection with any labour relations matter arising between the authority or a Minister of the Crown and employees of, or office holders under, the Authority.

 

Disclosure because disclosure would adversely affect commercial confidentiality requirements and hence the Authority’s ability to conduct its affairs.

 

16.

GROUP AUDIT COMMITTEE

Report of the Acting Chief Internal Auditor  

 

Advance Northumberland Internal Audit Plan and Key Outcomes Update 

 

The purpose of this report is to advise Group Audit Committee on the 2021-2022 Internal Audit Plan covering Advance Northumberland Group of Companies (Advance), together with an update on Internal Audit reports issued during the period from December 2020 to September 2021 

 

17.

REPORT OF THE ACTING CHIEF INTERNAL AUDITOR

Administration of COVID-19 Business Support Grants 

 

The purpose of this report is to advise Audit Committee of internal controls established to govern the administration of Government Covid-19 business support grants and other assurance processes put in place. 

 

18.

REPORT OF THE SERVICE DIRECTOR-CORPORATE ASSURANCE

Conclusion of Shared Service Arrangement (Internal Audit and Risk Management) 

 

This report informs Audit Committee of upcoming changes to service delivery arrangements for Internal Audit and Risk Management within Northumberland County Council