Agenda and decisions

Venue: Held Virtually via MS Teams

Contact: Lucy Tyrrell, Tel 07741 607824; E-mail:  lucy.tyrrell@oxfordshire.gov.uk 

Note: https://oxon.cc/Audit16092020 

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence and Temporary Appointments

2.

Declaration of Interests - see guidance note

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 471 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 22 July 2020 and to receive information arising from them.

4.

Petitions and Public Address

This Cabinet meeting will be held virtually in order to conform with current guidelines regarding social distancing. Normally requests to speak at this public meeting are required by 9.00 a.m. on the day preceding the published date of the meeting. However, during the current situation and to facilitate these new arrangements we are asking that requests to speak are submitted by no later than 9.00 a.m. four working days before the meeting i.e. 9.00 a.m. on 10 September 2020. Requests to speak should be sent tolucy.tyrrell@oxfordshire.gov.uktogether with a written statement of your presentation to ensure that if the technology fails then your views can still be taken into account. A written copy of your statement can be provided no later than 9.00 a.m. 2 working days before the meeting.

 

Where a meeting is held virtually and the addressee is unable to participate virtually their written submission will be accepted.

 

Written submissions should be no longer than 1 A4 sheet.

 

 

5.

Surveillance Commissioner's Inspection and Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act pdf icon PDF 210 KB

1.10 p.m.

 

Report by the Interim Monitoring Officer and Corporate Director Commercial Development, Assets and Investment

 

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 ('the Act') regulates the use of covert activities by Local Authorities. It creates the statutory framework by which covert surveillance activities may be lawfully undertaken. Special authorisation arrangements need to be put in place whenever a Local Authority considers commencing covert surveillance or considers obtaining information by the use of informants or officers acting in an undercover capacity.

 

Codes of Practice issued under the Act provide guidance to authorities on the use of the Act. The Code of Practice relating to covert surveillance specifies that elected members should review the authority's use of the Act and set the policy at least once a year. They should also consider internal reports on the use of the Act periodically.

 

This paper provides an overview of the use of activities falling within the scope of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 by Oxfordshire County Council in the period from April 2019 to March 2020. The report also provides an overview of the authority's Policy and the full policy is provided as an annex for committee members to review.

 

The Committee is RECOMMENDED to:

a)        Consider and note the use of activities within the scope of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act by the Council, and

b)        Note the Policy document at Annex 1 and to comment on any changes to the Policy for Compliance with the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 that the committee would wish the Monitoring Officer to consider.

 

Additional documents:

6.

Local Government Ombudsman's Review of Oxfordshire Council pdf icon PDF 277 KB

1.30 p.m.

 

Report by the Monitoring Officer.

 

Each year, the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGSCO) issues an Annual Review Report about each council. This relates to the complaints made to the LGSCO about the Council in the previous financial year. This report updates the Committee on this area of governance for the year 2019/20.

 

While there were fewer complaints made to the LGSCO about this Council in 2019/20, the rate of cases upheld has increased on last year:  16 upheld instead of 9.  This is an uphold rate of 76% of cases considered by the Ombudsman, compared to a national average of 66%.

 

On the positive side, 97% of the Council's complaints were resolved within our own procedures.  In 13% of the cases upheld by the LGSCO, the Ombudsman found that the Council had already provided a satisfactory remedy before the complaint reached him. This compares to only 9% in similar authorities. The Ombudsman was pleased to note that in all cases, the Council had successfully implemented all the Ombudsman’s recommendations.

 

This report explores these findings in more detail and sets them in the national context for county councils.

 

The Committee is RECOMMENDED to note and comment on this report and on the Local Government Ombudsman’s Annual Review of Oxfordshire County Council for 2019/20

 

Additional documents:

7.

Monitoring Officer Annual Report pdf icon PDF 484 KB

2.00 p.m.

 

Report by Monitoring Officer

 

The Audit and Governance Committee is responsible for promoting standards of conduct for elected councillors and co-opted members and for ensuring the integrity of the democratic decision-making process.  Consequently, the Monitoring Officer reports annually to this Committee on relevant actions and issues that have occurred in the previous year. This report therefore summarises certain activities for the year 2019/20.

 

The Committee is RECOMMENDED to consider and endorse the report.

 

8.

Counter-fraud Plan 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 581 KB

2.45 p.m.

 

Report by the Director of Finance

 

This report presents the Counter Fraud Strategy and Plan for 2020/21 and a review of activity from 2019/20.

 

The committee is RECOMMENDED to: 

a)            Note the summary of activity from 2019/20

b)           Comment and note the Counter Fraud Strategy and Plan for 2020/21

 

9.

Internal Audit Plan - Progress Report pdf icon PDF 294 KB

3.15 p.m.

 

Report by Director of Finance

 

This report presents the Internal Audit progress report for 2020/21.

 

The committee is RECOMMENDED to note the progress with the 20/21 Internal Audit Plan and the outcome of the completed audits.

 

10.

Ernst & Young - 2019/20 Annual Audit Letter

3.45 p.m.

 

Representatives from Ernst & Young will attend to present a verbal report.

 

11.

Audit Working Group Report (To Follow) pdf icon PDF 218 KB

4.15pm

 

Report by the Director for Finance.

 

This report presents the matters considered by the Audit Working Group meeting of 9 September 2020.

 

The Committee is RECOMMENDED to note the report.

12.

Carillion Update

4.30 p.m.

 

Report by Director for Property, Investment and Facilities Management

 

To update A&G on the latest position and the agreed final settlement sum on all claims for this item.

 

13.

Work Programme pdf icon PDF 200 KB

4.45 p.m.

 

To review the Committee’s work programme.