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 https://oxon.cc/Audit05012022

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence and Temporary Appointments

Decision:

Councillor Jane Murphy substituted for Councillor Ted Fenton.

2.

Declaration of Interests

Decision:

There were no Declarations of Interest.

3.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 333 KB

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 17 November 2021 and to receive information arising from them.

Decision:

To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 17 November 2021 and to receive information arising from them.

The minutes of 17 November 2021 were agreed, and the Chair authorised to sign them as a correct record.

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 9.00 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 29 December 2021. Requests to speak should be sent to lucy.tyrrell@oxfordshire.gov.uk. You will be contacted by the officer regarding the 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 9.00 a.m. 2 working days before the meeting i.e. Friday 31 December 2021. Written submissions should be no longer than 1 A4 sheet.

Decision:

There were none.

5.

Treasury Management Strategy Statement and Annual Investment Strategy for 2022/23 pdf icon PDF 397 KB

2.10 p.m.

 

Report by the Director of Finance

 

The Treasury Management Strategy & Annual Investment Strategy for 2022/23 outlines the Council’s strategic objectives in terms of its debt and investment management for the financial year 2022/23. 

 

Changes to the Treasury Management Strategy will be recommended to Council to be delegated to the Director of Finance in consultation with the Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Finance.

 

The Audit & Governance Committee is RECOMMENDED to endorse the Treasury Management Strategy for 2022/23 as outlined in the report.

 

Decision:

The Audit & Governance Committee was RECOMMENDED to endorse the Treasury Management Strategy for 2022/23 as outlined in the report.

Recommendation agreed.

6.

Financial Management Code - Summary Compliance Assessment pdf icon PDF 232 KB

2.25 p.m.

 

Report by the Director of Finance.

 

This is the second annual report to those charged with governance on the Council’s compliance with the FM Code and follows an initial assessment for 2020/21 that was considered by Audit & Governance Committee in January 2021. 

 

The report sets out the outcome of the compliance self-assessment undertaken for 2021/22 which has found that the Council is well placed to meet the requirements of the FM Code. 

 

The Audit & Governance Committee is RECOMMENDED to endorse the assessment of compliance against the Financial Management Code for 2021/22 (Annex 1)

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Audit & Governance Committee was RECOMMENDED to endorse the assessment of compliance against the Financial Management Code for 2021/22 (Annex 1).

Recommendation agreed.

 

7.

Internal Audit Plan - Progress Report pdf icon PDF 510 KB

2.40 p.m.

 

Report by Director of Finance.

 

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

 

The committee is RECOMMENDED to

a)    Note the progress with the 2021/22 Internal Audit Plan and the outcome of the completed audits.

b)   Note the Blue Badge Enforcement Strategy.

 

 

Decision:

The Audit & Governance Committee was RECOMMENDED to –

a)    Note the progress with the 2021/22 Internal Audit Plan and the outcome of the completed audits; and

b)    Note the Blue Badge Enforcement Strategy.

 

Recommendations agreed.

8.

Provision Cycle Implementation Update pdf icon PDF 342 KB

3.00 p.m.

 

Report by Director of Law & Governance.

 

The purpose of this report is to update the Committee on the progress of the Procurement Hub since the recent transformation activities.  It seeks to confirm to the Committee that any outstanding actions which have been identified as requiring change or improvement since then, have happened, and provides more information on the structural changes which have happened in the procurement function since this point.

 

The Committee is RECOMMENDED to:

(a)          note the update and improvements made to the Procurement Hub in the last year since the restructure, and

(b)          endorse and confirm completion of the Action Plan as detailed in Annex 1.

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

The committee was RECOMMENDED to –

a)     Note the update and improvements made to the Procurement Hub in the last year since the restructure, and

b)     Endorse and confirm completion of the Action Plan as detailed in Annex 1.

 

9.

Constitution Review Update pdf icon PDF 224 KB

3.20 p.m.

 

Report by Director of Law & Governance and Monitoring Officer

 

The purpose of the Working Group is to make recommendations to this Committee on potential changes to the Constitution. The Committee endorsed an outline approach which envisaged the Committee receiving a draft, revised version of the Constitution in March 2022.  The Committee did however affirm that achieving a Constitution that is fit for purpose and understandable by the public, members and officers was the key consideration.

 

The Constitution Working Group has met twice and it has become apparent that the timescale in which to produce an updated Constitution that is fit for purpose and understandable is not achievable within the initial anticipated timescale. 

 

The Constitution Working Group, therefore, ask the Committee to extend the deadline for the review until July 2022

 

The Committee is RECOMMENDED:

 

(a)          To note the progress made to date with the Constitution Review; and

(b)          To note the concerns of the Constitution Review Working Group around delivery of a new Constitution by the end of March 2022 and to extend that deadline until 31 July 2022.

 

Decision:

The Audit & Governance Committee was RECOMMENDED to note –

a)    The progress made to date with the Constitution Review; and

b)    The concerns of the Constitution Review Working Group around delivery of a new Constitution by the end of March 2022 and to extend that deadline until 31 July 2022.

Recommendations agreed.

 

10.

Appointment of Independent Persons pdf icon PDF 135 KB

3.30 p.m.

 

Director of Law & Governance and Monitoring Officer

 

In recent years, the work of the Committee has benefited from the co-option to it of an Independent Member, Dr Geoff Jones.  While it is not a statutory requirement to do this, it is recommended best practice to do so.  The perspective and challenge afforded by an Independent Co-opted Member is integral to the purpose of an effective audit committee, as has been proven through the services of Dr Jones.

 

It is also recommended best practice that this independent perspective is refreshed periodically.  As such, this report sets out a proposal for seeking public interest in the role of an Independent Co-opted Member for this Committee. This proposal involves a public advertisement against the CIPFA skills and competencies framework for audit committee members.  The appointment, and any remuneration for it via a Special Responsibility Allowance, will be for Full Council to determine.

 

The Committee is RECOMMENDED to approve the proposed approach for recruiting and appointing two Independent Co-opted Members to this Committee.

 

Decision:

The Audit & Governance Committee was RECOMMENDED to approve the proposed approach for recruiting and appointing two Independent Co-opted Members to the Committee.

Recommendation agreed.

11.

Audit Working Group Report pdf icon PDF 216 KB

3.45 p.m.

 

Report by the Director of Finance.

 

This report presents the matters considered by the Audit Working Group meeting of 15 December 2021.

 

The Committee is RECOMMENDED to note the report.

 

Decision:

The Audit & Governance Committee was RECOMMENDED to note the report.

Recommendation agreed.

12.

Work Programme 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 201 KB

3.50 p.m.

 

To review the Committee’s work programme and training schedule for 2021/22.

 

 

Additional documents:

Decision:

The Audit & Governance Committee reviewed the Committee’s Work Programme and Training Schedule for 2021/22.