Agenda and decisions

Venue: County Hall, Oxford, OX1 1ND

Contact: Lucy Tyrrell, Tel 07741 607834; E-mail:  lucy.tyrrell@oxfordshire.gov.uk 

Link: video link to meeting

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence and Temporary Appointments

2.

Declaration of Interests - see guidance note

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 375 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 21 July 2021 and to receive information arising from them.

4.

Petitions and Public Address

Currently council meetings are taking place in-person (not virtually) with social distancing operating in the venues.  However, members of the public who wish to speak at this meeting can attend the meeting ‘virtually’ through an online connection.  Places at the meeting are very limited due to the requirements of social distancing.  While you can ask to attend the meeting in person, you are strongly encouraged to attend ‘virtually’ to minimise the risk of Covid-19 infection.

 

Please also note that in line with current government guidance all attendees are strongly encouraged to take a lateral flow test in advance of the meeting.

 

Normally requests to speak at this public meeting are required by 9 am 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 9am four working days before the meeting i.e. 9 am on Wednesday 8 September 2021. Requests to speak should be sent to lucy.tyrrell@oxfordshire.gov.uk.  You will be contacted by the officer regarding arrangements for speaking.

 

If you ask to attend in person, the officer will also advise you regarding Covid-19 safety at the meeting.  If you are speaking ‘virtually’, you may submit 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 am 2 working days before the meeting. Written submissions should be no longer than 1 A4 sheet.

5.

Statement of Accounts Update pdf icon PDF 304 KB

2.10 p.m.

 

Report by the Director of Finance.

 

This report sets out the issues identified during the latter part of the audit and the additional work that is being undertaken, including further amendments to the accounts so the audit can be finalised.  

 

The Committee is RECOMMENDED to endorse the report         

 

6.

Ernst & Young - Audit Results Report pdf icon PDF 5 MB

2.20 p.m.

 

Representatives from the external auditors, Ernst & Young, will attend to present the following report:

 

·         Oxfordshire County Council Draft Audit Results Report Year Ended 31 March 2021

·         Oxfordshire Pension Fund - Audit Results Report Year Ended 31 March 2021

 

Additional documents:

7.

Internal Audit Progress Report 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 331 KB

2.40 p.m.

 

Report by the Director of Finance.

 

This report presents the Internal Audit progress report for 2021/22.

 

The committee is RECOMMENDED to note the progress with the 2021/22 Internal Audit Plan and the outcome of the completed audits.

8.

Surveillance Commissioner's Inspection and Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act pdf icon PDF 226 KB

3.00 p.m.

 

Report by the Director of Law and Governance and Monitoring Officer.

 

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 ('the Act') regulates the use of covert investigatory 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 wishes to obtain 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 the supporting policy at least once a year. They should also consider internal reports on the use of the Act periodically.

 

The Investigatory Powers Commissioner's Office oversees the use of investigatory powers by public bodies and as part of this oversight regime they will periodically inspect local authorities' policies, procedures and records relating to relevant activities.

 

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 2020 to March 2021. It also provides a summary of the partial inspection of the authority undertaken by the Investigatory Powers Commissioner's Office in 2020. The report also provides the committee with an opportunity to review and comment on the policy, which is provided as an annex to the report.

 

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 when revising the Policy.

 

 

 

 

 

Additional documents:

9.

Local Government Ombudsman's Review of Oxfordshire County Council pdf icon PDF 337 KB

3.20 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. So this report updates the Committee on this area of governance for the year 2020/21, reflecting on those complaints that were considered by the Ombudsman up to 31 March 2021.

 

The Committee is RECOMMENDED to comment on the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman’s Annual Review of Oxfordshire County Council for 2020/21, and the work undertaken by the Council since with regard to its handling of complaints.

 

Additional documents:

10.

Monitoring Officer Annual Report pdf icon PDF 429 KB

3.30 p.m.

 

Report by the Monitoring Officer.

 

This report gives an overview from the Monitoring Officer of democratic and ethical governance activity, during the year 2020/21, in relation to the functions of the Committee.  The report reflects on the implications of the pandemic for democratic decision making, the occurrence of code of conduct complaints and other member-related matters.

 

The Committee is RECOMMENDED to consider and endorse the report.

 

11.

Constitutional Review Work Programme pdf icon PDF 229 KB

3.40 p.m.

 

Report by the Monitoring Officer.

 

The Council has a duty to keep its constitution under review. This includes all relevant codes and protocols, and the procedure rules for committees. As well as corrections, updates, amendments, and developments to the constitution.

 

The constitution forms a key part of the Council’s governance framework, setting rules, principles, and procedures to enable the Council to take decisions and do its work effectively.

 

This report proposes that the Monitoring Officer undertakes a review of the constitution to ensure that it is fit for purpose, supported by a Councillor Constitution Working Group.

 

The Audit & Governance Committee is RECOMMENDED to

 

a)    Consider the results of the Member engagement exercise on the Constitution set out in Appendix1

b)   To endorse the process for the 2021 review of the Constitution

c)    To comment on the proposed Project Plan for the review

d)   To agree to the establishment of an informal cross-party Constitution Review Working Group comprising 3 Liberal Democrat-Green Alliance members, 3 Labour members, 2 Conservative members and 1 Independent Member

 

Additional documents:

12.

Audit Working Group pdf icon PDF 218 KB

4.00 p.m.

 

Report by the Director for Finance.

 

This report presents the matters considered by the Audit Working Group meeting of 8 September 2021.

 

The Committee is RECOMMENDED to note the report.

13.

Audit & Governance Committee Work Programme 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 201 KB

4.15 p.m.

 

To review the Committee’s work programme.