Agenda and minutes

Venue: REMOTE MEETING - MICROSOFT TEAMS

Media

Items
No. Item

Welcome

The Chair welcomed Councillor D Chaplin and Councillor T Rogers to their first Audit Meeting.

102.

Apologies for absence pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Minutes:

No apologies for absence were received as all Members were present.

103.

Declarations of Interest

Members are reminded of their personal responsibility to declare any personal and prejudicial interest in respect of matters contained in this agenda in accordance with the provisions of the Local Government and Finance Act 1992 relating to Council Tax, the Local Government Act 2000, the Council’s Constitution and the Members Code of Conduct

 

Note:

 

(a)  Members are reminded that they must identify the item number and subject matter that their interest relates to and signify the nature of the personal interest and

 

(b)  Where Members withdraw from a Meeting as a consequence of the disclosure of a prejudicial interest they must notify the Chair when they leave

Minutes:

No Declarations of Interest were made.

104.

Wales Audit Office - Financial Sustainability Assessment - Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and Audit Wales National Financial Sustainability Report pdf icon PDF 433 KB

To receive the reports of the Wales Audit Office / Audit Wales

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed H Goddard, I Phillips and N Hollis of Audit Wales to the Meeting.

 

Helen Goddard then led the Committee in detail through the ‘Financial Sustainability Assessment – Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council’ and ‘Financial Sustainability of Local Government as a Result of the COVID- 19 Pandemic’ reports.

 

The following questions were then raised on the reports and were responded to in detail by Audit Wales and the Officers:

 

·         Timetable for presentation of the Medium-Term Financial Plan

·         Medium-Term Plan – Length of time to assess Risks, Strategic and Corporate

·         Settlement figures

·         The effect of Coronavirus on the economy – Paragraph 5 – ‘The Council needs to identify and deliver recurrent efficiency savings which will help to reduce the budget gap over the medium to long term’ – How can this be achieved – Reliance on UK and WG Funding

·         Paragraph 27 – Council Tax Collection – What steps are being deployed to recover this money

·         Borrowing to fund commercial activities – Is it recommended to have commercial activities– Are there Councils who do this – Are there any good examples of this

 

Ian Phillips then referred to a ‘Commercialisation in Local Government’ report that was available via the Audit Wales Web site and he would also forward a link for this report.

 

·         Are recommendations made to Welsh Government in relation to the Settlement for Merthyr Tydfil

 

A Member then suggested that Mark Thomas, the appropriate Officers and Wales Audit gave a Presentation to Members in relation to the financial situation.

 

Helen Goddard advised that she would discuss this with the Engagement Director.

 

After further consideration by the Committee it was

 

Resolved that:

 

The report be received.

 

The Chair then thanked Helen Goddard and Ian Phillips for the report to the Committee.

105.

Audit Wales Presentation - Raising our Game: Tackling Fraud in Wales pdf icon PDF 331 KB

To receive a Presentation from Audit Wales.

Minutes:

Ian Phillips made a Presentation to the Committee on ‘Raising our Game: Tackling Fraud in Wales’ and gave details in relation to:

 

·         The Scale of Fraud – Phases l and ll

·         Counter Fraud Phase l and Phase ll Study

·         Key National Findings

·         Phase l Overview of Sector: Local Government:

·         Resources, Work and Collaboration, Scrutiny, Impact

·         Key National Findings: Local Government

 

The Chair then requested a report to Committee on where we are and are going in relation to Fraud.

 

Mark Thomas and Steve Jones confirmed that a report would be brought to a future Committee Meeting.

 

The following questions were then raised on the Presentation and were responded to by Ian Phillips and the Officers:

 

·         Has there been fraudulent activity as a result of for example Flooding, Coronavirus – What are the checks and balances

·         What is the current level of investigations – Changes to operation procedures – Are they being risk assessed

·         Is there a cost benefit analysis in relation to the resources needed

·         Different ways of working – One Department looking at another Department

 

The Chair then requested that ‘Key National Funds’ referred to in the Presentation be included in the future programme for agenda items.

 

Resolved that:

 

The Presentation be received.

 

The Chair then thanked Ian Phillips for the Presentation to the Committee.

 

106.

Internal Audit Plan 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 324 KB

To receive the report of the Head of the Regional Internal Audit Service

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Mark Thomas led the Committee in detail through the ‘Annual Internal Audit Plan 2020/21’ and together with Steve Jones responded to the following questions raised:

 

·         Ffos y Fran – Contract and Royalty Payment

·         Is Appendix 1 based on Risk Assessment and is it in priority order

·         Are there sufficient staff resources

 

Reference was then made to the Audit Manager and best wished were conveyed for a speedy recovery.

 

Resolved that:

 

The Annual Internal Audit Risk Based Plan for 2020/21 be approved.

107.

Internal Audit Information Reports pdf icon PDF 138 KB

To receive copies of Published Internal Audit reports for Members Information

Minutes:

The Chair referred the Committee to the ‘Information Report - Issued Internal Audit Reports’ and asked if the Committee wished any of the reports to be considered in more detail.

 

No referrals were requested by the Committee.

 

Resolved that:

 

The report be received.

108.

Reflection and Evaluation of Meeting

To receive an update from the Chair

Minutes:

The Chair and the Committee reflected on the issues that had been considered in the Meeting.

109.

Any other business deemed urgent by the Chair

Minutes:

The Chair advised that there was no business deemed urgent.

 

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