Agenda and draft minutes

Audit Committee - Monday 14th November 2022 2.00 pm

Venue: Civic Suite

Contact: James Hughes  Democratic Services

Media

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies

To receive any apologies or substitutions.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no apologies.

2.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 379 KB

To receive the minutes of the previous meeting.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The public minutes of the meeting held on Monday 26th September were agreed as an accurate record with a change on page 7 (Agenda Pack) from Julie Coper to Julie Cooper and a change on page 12 (Agenda Pack) on the last response to a question from Cllr Sandison to include “…we have got better at identifying risks.”

 

3.

Private Minutes

To consider the private minutes of the last meeting.

Minutes:

The private minutes of the meeting held on Monday 26th September were agreed as an accurate record.

 

4.

Declarations of Interest

To receive declarations of interest from Members in accordance with the Code of Conduct (Members are directed to the guidance sheet attached).

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no declarations received.

5.

Questions and Deputations

To answer questions, if any, asked by any resident of the Borough pursuant to Standing Orders.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

There were no questions or deputations received.

6.

The Audit Findings for SMBC pdf icon PDF 7 MB

To summarise the key findings and other matters arising from the statutory audit of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council ('the Council') and the preparation of the group and Council's financial statements for year ended 31 March 2022 for those charged with governance.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Grant Paterson and Neil Preece, of Grant Thornton, presented their Audit findings. They drew focus to the positive outcome, with recommendations mainly focussing on more efficient ways of doing things rather than on issues they had found. These were the unqualified audit findings and the full work would be brought before the committee in January.

 

Questions from Members focussed on value for money work, valuation of land, use of reserves for the MTFP, securing economic efficiencies, assumptions of outcomes in the appointment of a Commissioner in Childrens Services and capital projects in light of the economic outlook.

 

RESOLVED:

The Audit Committee noted the Audit Findings for SMBC.

 

7.

Postponement of Completion of 2021/22 Value for Money (VFM) Work pdf icon PDF 129 KB

To receive from Grant Thornton the Postponement of Completion of 2021/22 Value for Money (VFM) Work notification letter.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED:

The Audit Committee received and noted the letter from Grant Thornton regarding the Postponement of Completion of 2021/22 Value for Money (VFM) Work notification.

8.

Final Statement of Accounts 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 196 KB

1.1 To ask Members to review the Council’s final Statement of Accounts for 2021/22 (see Appendix A).
1.2 To ask the committee to consider Grant Thornton’s Audit Findings report required by the International Standard on Auditing which summarises the audit work performed so far this year, which is included separately on this agenda.
1.3 To ask the committee to review and consider the Management Response to the Improvement Recommendations included in Appendix B.
1.4 To note there are some areas that remain outstanding at the date of the report being published. A verbal update will be provided at the meeting on the progress of these.
1.5 To ask the committee to review the draft Management Letter of Representation which is also included separately on this agenda.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Finance Manager presented the report. He highlighted that these are not the final copies in line with the delay of the External Audit findings and again reiterated any changes had been small. Questions focussed on what investments the Council had, the risk of these in light of the economic outlook, technical terminology queries and contingency plans for academies being handed back to the Local Authority.

 

RESOLVED:

a)  The Audit Committee noted the Council’s final 2021/22 Statement of Accounts (see Appendix A).

b)  The Audit Committee noted the Audit Findings Report presented by Grant Thornton and their comments under the Value for Money section, reported elsewhere on the agenda. Feedback will be shared with Governance Committee as part of their role in approving the Final Statement of Accounts.

c)  The Audit Committee noted and commented on the Management Response to the Improvement Recommendations included in Appendix B.

d)  The Audit Committee endorsed that delegated approval be sought from Governance Committee for the Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive to sign the final 2021/22 Statement of Accounts after Governance Committee owing to the issue reported in paragraph 3.2.

e)  The Audit Committee reviewed the draft Management Letter of Representation, at Appendix C with any feedback shared with Governance Committee as part of their role in approving the Final Statement of Accounts.

9.

2022/23 Quarter 2 Treasury Management Monitoring Report pdf icon PDF 214 KB

To provide a monitoring report on the 2022/23 Treasury Management activities for quarter 2.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Treasury and Corporate Accountant introduced the report. The Committee had received the ‘2022/23 Mid-Year Treasury Management Strategy Review’ at the last report so there had not been much change. Interest rates are now expected to peak at a lower rate than before and then begin to fall again over the next several years.

 

RESOLVED:

The Audit Committee noted the Treasury Management activities for quarter 2 of 2022/23.

 

10.

RISK MANAGEMENT INFORMATION REPORT pdf icon PDF 184 KB

1.1 As part of the Council’s Risk Management Approach, Audit Committee:
- Monitors the effective development and operation of risk management.
- Considers compliance with the Risk Management Policy and Procedure.
1.2 This report and its appendices provide an overview of the corporate risk register as well as informs the Committee of any new or emerging high operational risks that have been recorded on our risk management system.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Health, Safety and Risk Team Manager presented the report and highlighted changes that had been made to how the information was presented after feedback from the Committee at the last meeting. The Director of Resources, Director of Adult Social Care and Director of Childrens Services were all available to answer questions on the narrative reports in Appendix D.

 

RESOLVED:

The Audit Committee noted the information provided in this report and determined at this time there was no further action needed in respect of the identified corporate risks.

 

11.

Exclusion of the Public and Press

That the press and public be now excluded from the remainder of the business to be transacted, on the grounds that there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chairman moved the resolution to exclude the public and press.

 

RESOLVED:

That the press and public be now excluded from the remainder of the business to be transacted, on the grounds that there would be disclosure to them of exempt information as defined in Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972.

12.

Private Appendix E for Item 9 (Risk Management Information Report)

13.

Corporate Warning Markers

Internal Audit report on Corporate Warning Markers.

14.

Management response to the Internal Audit of the Corporate Warning Marker Policy and System

1.1 To provide the Audit Committee with an update on the developments and mitigations in place to respond to the Corporate Warning Marker Register Audit Report – Level 5: No Assurance.
1.2 Significant progress has been made since the audit commenced as outlined in the report.

15.

Fraudulent Payment

The Internal Audit report on the Fraudulent Payment.

16.

Management Response to the Internal Audit report on the Fraud

To share with Audit Committee the management response to the Internal Audit report on the Fraud and the resulting recommendations/actions being taken to address any residual risks/issues.

17.

IT Audit Findings

To support the financial statement audit of Solihull MBC for year ended 31 March 2022, Grant Thornton has completed a design and implementation review of IT General Controls (ITGC) for Oracle EBS.

18.

Update on The Grant Thornton ICT Audit Findings 2022

To provide an update to Audit Committee regarding actions taken in Oracle Cloud to address the risks identified in the Grant Thornton SMBC IT Audit Report 2022, and the risks which remain in relation to the Oracle e-Business (EBS) suite.