Agenda and minutes

Business Efficiency Board
Wednesday, 23rd September, 2020 6.30 p.m.

Venue: Via Public Remote Access (please contact the Clerk named below for instructions)

Contact: Gill Ferguson on 0151 511 8059 Email: gill.ferguson@halton.gov.uk or Ann Jones on 0151 511 8276 Email: ann.jones@halton.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

8.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 87 KB

Minutes:

            The Minutes of the meeting held on 21st July 2020 were taken as read and signed as a correct record.

9.

Anti Fraud and Corruption Update pdf icon PDF 125 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Board considered a report of the Operational Director, Finance, which provided an update on the Council’s anti-fraud and anti-corruption arrangements.

 

It was reported that the Board was responsible for the monitoring and review of the Council’s anti-fraud and anti-corruption arrangements. The main areas of the Council’s business thought to be susceptible to fraud and corruption were detailed in the report. In addition the report included:

·         A commentary on the fraud risk landscape;

·         Details of a restructure of the Council’s fraud investigation resource;

·         A summary of reported fraud and corruption activity from 2019/20;

·         Details of fraud investigation related information reported under the Transparency Code;

·         A summary of the whistleblowing complaints received and action taken;

·         An update on the National Fraud Initiative;

·         Details of ongoing and planned anti-fraud work; and

·         Details of the review of the Council’s suite of anti-fraud related plans and policies; and

·         A new draft Council policy relating to the anti-facilitation of tax evasion.

 

            Arising from the discussion, it was agreed that summary of detected frauds over the last 3 years would be circulated to Board members.

 

            RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

10.

Draft Annual Governance Statement 2019-20 pdf icon PDF 75 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

            The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director, Enterprise, Community and Resources, which sought approval of the draft Annual Governance Statement (AGS) for 2019/20.

 

            It was noted that the AGS, attached to the report at Appendix 1, provided an overview of the governance framework in place for 2019/20. A key aspect of the AGS was the identification of areas where the Council’s governance arrangements would need to be developed.

           

            The Board was advised that due to COVID-19, the timing for the statutory completion of the AGS had been changed this year as set out in the Accounts and Audit (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020.  The final version of the AGS must be approved by 30 November 2020.

 

            The report detailed the process followed in producing the AGS; this was noted as being the same as in the previous year, being led by a group of Officers that had key roles in the maintenance and development of the Council’s governance framework. Once approved, the AGS would be signed off by the Council Leader and the Chief Executive.

 

            RESOLVED: That the Annual Governance Statement 2019/20 be approved.

 

11.

External Audit Plan 2019-20-Year End pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director, Enterprise, Community and Resources, which set out the 2019/20 year-end Audit Plan, presented by Grant Thornton UK LLP.

 

The Board was advised that the External Audit Plan was attached to the report and set out details of Grant Thornton’s strategy and plan to deliver the 2019/20 audit of the Council’s financial statements. It also provided details of their approach to the value for money conclusion.

 

RESOLVED: That the contents of the External Audit Plan for 2019/20 year-end be noted.

12.

External Audit Letter to Those Charged with Governance pdf icon PDF 192 KB

Minutes:

            The Board considered a report by the Strategic Director Enterprise, Community and Resources, which presented for information the response provided to the annual letter to the Board from Grant Thornton, the Council’s external auditors, regarding their year-end audit of accounts work.

 

            The Appendix to the report outlined the response provided to a number of questions contained in a letter from Grant Thornton to the Chair of the Board.

 

            RESOLVED: That the response provided to the Council’s external auditors shown in the Appendix, be noted.