A meeting of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee will take place in the Council Chamber, Council Headquarters, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness on Thursday, 20 September 2012 at 2.00pm (or following the Transport, Environmental and Community Services Committee meeting, whichever is the later).
Webcast Notice: This meeting will be filmed and broadcast over the Internet on the Highland Council website and will be archived and available for viewing for 12 months thereafter.
You are invited to attend the meeting and a note of the business to be considered is attached.
Assistant Chief Executive
1. Apologies for Absence
2. Declarations of Interest
Members are asked to consider whether they have an interest to declare in relation to any item on the agenda for this meeting. Any Member making a declaration of interest should indicate whether it is a financial or non-financial interest and include some information on the nature of the interest. Advice may be sought from Officers prior to the meeting taking place.
3. Recess Powers
The Committee is asked to note that the Recess Powers granted by the Council at its meeting on 28 June 2012 have not been exercised in relation to the business of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee.
4. Internal Audit Reviews and Progress Report
Ath-bhreithneachaidhean In-sgrùdaidh agus Aithisg Adhartais
There is circulated Report No. AS-9-12 (523kb pdf) dated 7 September 2012 by the Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management which summarises the final reports issued since the date of the last meeting, together with details of work in progress and other information relevant to the operation of the Internal Audit Section as follows:-
- Finance Service – Payroll
- Finance Service – Council Tax Billing and Collection
- Chief Executive’s Office – Corporate Governance
- Housing and Property Service – Framework Agreement for Construction Works up to a Value of £25,000
- TEC Services – Corran Ferry – Income Collection
- Finance Service – Investigation into Payments to Contractor in Liquidation
- Health and Social Care – Nursery Payments – System Weaknesses
- Education, Culture and Sport Service – Catering Establishment – System Weaknesses
The Committee is invited to consider the Final Reports referred to in Section 1.1 above, note the current work of the Internal Audit Section and the adjustments to the Audit Plan for 2012/13 in light of the additional Integrating Care in the Highlands work and the staff resourcing issues in the Section.
5. Action Tracking of Previous Internal Audit Reports
Leantainn Ghnìomhan bho Aithisgean In-sgrùdaidh a bh’ ann Roimhe
The Audit and Scrutiny Committee receives regular updates to provide assurance that the agreed actions arising from audit reports have been satisfactorily implemented. In this connection, there is circulated Report No. AS-10-12 (292kb pdf) by the Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management which provides information regarding the most recent action tracking undertaken since the last update provided to the Audit and Scrutiny Committee on 9 June 2011. This update covers the period to 30 June 2012.
The Committee is invited to note the action tracking information provided including the revised target dates for the completion of outstanding actions and the assurance provided at section 3.1 to the report.
6. Statement on Internal Control and Annual Report 2011/12
Aithris mu Smachd air an Taobh A-staigh agus Aithisg Bhliadhnail 2011/12
There is circulated Report No. AS-11-12 (212kb pdf) dated 4 July 2012 by the Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management which includes an assessment of the adequacy, reliability and effectiveness of the Council’s system of internal financial control and provides information for the Council’s Corporate Governance Assurance Statement. This is contained within the Statement on Internal Control. In addition, the annual report provides an overview of the Internal Audit Section’s activities during 2011/12 and considers the issues to be addressed during 2011/12.
The Committee is invited to note the content of the report and the audit opinion provided, and to raise any relevant points with the Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management.
7. Risk Management Update
Cunntas As Ùr mu Rianachd Cunnairt
There is circulated Report No. AS-12-12 (104kb pdf) dated 6 September 2012 by the Director of Finance which provides an update to Members as to the progress in reviewing and managing the Corporate and Cross Cutting Risks.
The Committee is invited to note the content of this report with regard to the amendments to the Corporate and Cross Cutting Risks and the management of the risks concerned.
8. The Highland Council Pension Fund – Monitoring of Retirements
Maoin Pheinnsein Chomhairle na Gàidhealtachd – Sgrùdadh Chluaineasan
There is circulated Report No. AS-13-12 (113kb pdf) dated 21 August 2012 by the Director of Finance which provides information relating to retirements from the Highland Council Pension Fund for the year ended 31 March 2012.
The Committee is invited to note the report.
9. External Scrutiny: Shared Risk Assessment of Highland Council and the Assurance and Improvement Plan Update 2012-15 Sgrùdadh bhon taobh a-muigh: Co-mheasadh Cunnairt air Comhairle na Gàidhealtachd agus Cunntas as Ùr Plana Barantais agus Leasachaidh 2012-15
The annual up-date of the Assurance and Improvement Plan (AIP) 2012-15 for Highland Council has been produced by Audit Scotland drawing on the assessment by four external scrutiny bodies. The AIP shows no significant risks for the Council which would require additional external scrutiny. In this connection, there is circulated Report No. AS-14-12 (237kb pdf) dated 10 September 2012 by the Chief Executive which summarises the AIP.
The Committee is invited to note and comment on the Assurance and Improvement Plan (AIP), as attached at Appendix 1 to the report, which highlights that no significant scrutiny risks are identified for the Council in 2012-15.
10. Code of Corporate Governance
Còd Riaghladh Corporra
There is circulated Report No. AS-15-12 (83kb pdf) dated 10 September 2012 by the Assistant Chief Executive which provides information on progress with the actions agreed in the Local Code of Corporate Governance for 2011/2012 and details the proposed Code for 2012/13.
The Committee is invited to note progress on actions for 2011/12 and the actions agreed within the 2012/13 Code of Corporate Governance.
11. Audit Scotland National Reports
Aithisgean Nàiseanta Sgrùdadh Alba
There is circulated Report No. AS-16-12 (46kb pdf) dated 31 August 2012 by the Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management which provides details of the National Reports issued by Audit Scotland and the action taken within the Council to address the report findings as follows:-
- The Role of Community Planning Partnerships in Economic Development
- Transport for Health and Social Care
- Maintaining Scotland’s Roads: Follow up work
- Using Cost Information to Improve Performance: are you getting it right?
The Committee is invited to note and consider the action being taken by the respective Committees to address Audit Scotland’s National Reports and whether this provides sufficient assurance that appropriate action has been taken to address the report findings.
12. External Audit Reports
Aithisgean Sgrùdaidh bhon Taobh A-muigh
The following summarises the external audit reports prepared by the Council’s External Auditors (Audit Scotland) issued since the last Audit and Scrutiny Committee:-
a) Assurance on Internal Controls 2011-12 (343kb pdf)
The Committee is invited to note the terms of the report.
b) International Standard on Auditing 260 (ISA 260) / Report to those charged with governance on the 2011-12 audit (174kb pdf)
There is circulated Report No. AS-17-12 (30kb pdf) dated 7 September 2012 by the Director of Finance which provides details of the matters arising from the audit of the Council’s financial statements for 2011/12 that require reporting under International Standard on Auditing 260 (ISA 260).
The Committee is invited to consider the report from Audit Scotland to follow.
13. Proposed Scrutiny Review – Using Cost Information to Improve
Ath-bhreithneachadh Sgrùdaidh a Thathar a’ Moladh – A’ Cleachdadh Fiosrachadh Cosgais gus Dèanadas a Leasachadh
There is circulated Report No. AS-18-12 (29kb pdf) dated 6 September 2012 by the Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management which provides proposals regarding the next review to be undertaken by the Scrutiny Working Group.
The Committee is invited to approve that the Scrutiny Working Group undertakes a review of the Audit Scotland national report, Using Cost Information to Improve Performance: Are You Getting it Right?, in order to establish whether further actions are required by the Council.