Agenda and minutes

Audit Committee - Friday, 27th January, 2017 9.30 am

Venue: City Hall

Contact: Steve Gregory  0117 92 24357

No. Item


Welcome, Introductions and Safety Information


Apologies were received from Councillor Godwin and Councillor Hopkins. Apologies also received from Barra Mac Ruairi Strategic Director Place, Anna Klonowski Strategic Director Resources (Interim).



Declarations of Interest

To note any declarations of interest from the Councillors.  They are asked to indicate the relevant agenda item, the nature of the interest and in particular whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest.


Please note that the Register of Interests is available at


Any declarations of interest made at the meeting which is not on the register of interests should be notified to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion.



None declared.



Minutes of Previous Meeting pdf icon PDF 216 KB

To agree the minutes of the previous meeting as a correct record.


The Minutes of the 25 November 2016 were agreed as a correct record, subject to –


Minute 6 (2) to read ‘People Scrutiny Commission members informal briefing, consider if suitable for other members to attend’;



Corporate Risk register - Update pdf icon PDF 187 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report from the Interim Strategic Director – Resources which demonstrated that the Council was currently facing large risks with levels increasing in many areas, it was anticipated that the CRR would be reviewed quarterly by the Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) with the Audit Committee receiving a report twice a year.


An overview of the report and the process undertaken to review the CRR was given by Head of Internal Audit (J/S).


Risk Owners for the highest areas of risk in the register presented the information relating to those risks regarding how each one is being managed. They included briefings from Alison Comley: Strategic Director- Neighbourhoods regarding risks 5 and 12, Denise Murray: Service Director- Finance  regarding risks 2 and 6, Alistair Reid: Service Director – Economy regarding risk 4 and Netta Meadows: Service Director - People regarding risks 8 and 11 respectively.


Arising from general discussion and questions & answers the following points were made or clarified in respect of the CRR –


Risk 5 – Resilience


1.     A question was raised regarding who had been consulted in developing the resilience strategy referred to in the CRR to ensure it was an outward looking strategy.  Strategic Director- Neighbourhoods advised that many community and other groups were consulted. AC offered to provide the Committee with details of all the groups consulted. Health reforms and the uncertainties around Brexit were also impacting on this risk. 

2.     An issue around increasing mental health issues and suicide rates was discussed and how both officers (eg housing officers) and Members were supported in dealing with such cases in their day to day work. In developing the Corporate Strategy, consideration was being given to these issues. Any concerns regarding mental health causes resulting from changes to Council services to be referred to the Director of Public Health to ensure a robust risk strategy could be developed.

3.     The level of this risk was queried as there was concern that the risk was showing as static. The query was raised as to whether it should be higher. Strategic Director- Neighbourhoods advised that lots of work was in progress which was why it was not felt to be increasing.  Developments in the Corporate Strategy would be reflected in the next version of the CRR and delivering the resilience strategy was key, members asked to be signposted to the Resilience Strategy. Members queried the process for agreeing the risk levels. Strategic Director- Neighbourhoods referred to the sessions at Extended Leadership Team where this was discussed and it was agreed that evidence of this process be provided.

Risk 12 - Cyber Security


1.     Committee informed that digital risks were increasing so there was now a much greater need to mitigate this;

2.     Need to instil discipline corporately;

3.     Data breaches were investigated thoroughly;

4.     Online staff training for ICT security was now mandatory;

5.     Councillor training would also be implemented including information about the risks of online virus infections;

6.     Work was being undertaken to look  ...  view the full minutes text for item 55.


Action sheet pdf icon PDF 47 KB


Actions were noted.


Public Forum

Up to 30 minutes is allowed for this item.


Any member of the public or Councillor may participate in Public Forum.  The detailed arrangements for so doing are set out in the Public Information Sheet at the back of this agenda.  Public Forum items should be emailed to and please note that the following deadlines will apply in relation to this meeting:-


Questions - Written questions must be received 3 clear working days prior to the meeting.  For this meeting, this means that your question(s) must be received in this office at the latest by 5 pm on 23 January 2017.


Petitions and Statements - Petitions and statements must be received on the working day prior to the meeting.  For this meeting this means that your submission must be received in this office at the latest by 12.00 noon on 26 January 2017.



None received.


Work Programme pdf icon PDF 273 KB

To note the work programme.


The Work programme was noted.


External Audit 2015/16 Grants Report pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report from the Council’s external auditors BDO which summarised the main issues arising from certification of grant claims and returns for the financial year ended 31 March 2016.


Arising from questions asked it was clarified that –


(i)         the Government did claim back grant costs and it had an impact on the Council’s revenue budget, however this cost was covered by the budget setting process;

(ii)        pension and payroll costs of school academies were not covered by the Council unless they had specifically asked opted in.


Resolved:  that the report be noted.



Metrobus - Governance and Risk (verbal update)


The Committee received a brief verbal report from the Chair. The Chair emphasised that the Governance arrangements for the Project had been met in full and that issues relating to budget pressures and timing of the Project would be scrutinised in depth by the Place Scrutiny Commission. This approach was confirmed by BDO, the Council’s external auditor.



Applications for Dispensations pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report from the Service Director Legal & Democratic Services describing the rules in relation to disclosable pecuniary interests (DPIs) and details of those members who would have such interests in relation to the civic budget debate but would otherwise be unable to participate in the discussion and vote thereon. It recommends that those members be granted dispensations to enable them to take a full part in the meeting on the basis that it would be appropriate to grant such a dispensation.


Resolved:  that the report be noted and that dispensation be granted to the elected Mayor and councillors as listed in Appendix A to this report to enable them to participate in discussion, vote on matters in relation to the civic budget 2017-18 and the setting of the council tax, at the Council budget meeting on 21 February, 2017. Dispensation to be granted for this meeting only.



Information Item: Place Directorate Risk Register


The Committee noted the information provided in respect of the Place Directorate Risk Register.



Information item: Standards - Complaints received about Members of Council pdf icon PDF 32 KB


The Committee noted the information provided in respect of a complaint received about a Member of Council.