Agendas, reports and minutes

Audit and Scrutiny Committee

Date: Thursday, 20 November 2014

Agenda: Read the Agenda

A meeting of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee will take place in the Council Chamber, Council Headquarters, Glenurquhart Road, Inverness on Thursday, 20 November 2014 at 10.30am.

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.

Yours faithfully

Michelle Morris
Depute Chief Executive/
Director of Corporate Development

Business

1. Apologies for Absence
Leisgeulan

2. Declarations of Interest
Foillseachaidhean Com-pàirt

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. Internal Audit Reviews and Progress Report 
Ath-bhreithneachaidhean In-sgrùdaidh agus Aithisg Adhartais

There is circulated Report No. AS/25/14 dated 7 November 2014 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:-

  • Care and Learning: Children’s Units
  • Care and Learning: School Off-Site Excursions
  • Care and Learning: Commissioning of Children’s Services
  • Corporate Development: Human Resource Information Security
  • Development & Infrastructure: European Fisheries Funding Project Axis 4
  • Development & Infrastructure: LEADER Programme 2013/14
  • Development & Infrastructure: Uniform System
  • Development & Infrastructure: Employability Service
  • Finance: Oracle Financials
  • Finance: Matters Arising from the Statement of Internal Control 2013/14

The Committee is invited to consider the Final Reports referred to in Section 1.1 of the report, note the current work of the Internal Audit Section and note the addition of an audit of the HRA debtors’ position.

4. Nairn Common Good Fund Parkdean Caravan Park Lease 
Aonta-màil Pàirc Charabhanaichean Parkdean bho Mhaoin Math Coitcheann Inbhir Narann

There is circulated Report No. AS/26/14 dated 11 November 2014 by the Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management which refers to a management report requested by the Chief Executive concerning the Parkdean Caravan Park lease.

The Committee is invited to consider and note the findings of the management report concerning the Parkdean Caravan Park lease.

5. Inspection of Equipment in Schools – Internal Audit Update Report 
Sgrùdadh Acfhainn ann an Sgoiltean – Aithisg Ùrachaidh In-sgrùdaidh

There will follow Report No. AS/27/14 by the Director of Development and Infrastructure.

6. Quality Assurance and Improvement Programme 
Prògram Deimhinneachd Inbhe agus Leasachaidh

There is circulated Report No. AS/28/14 dated 5 November 2014 by the Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management which refers to the completion of a Quality Assurance and Improvement Programme for the Internal Audit service, as required by the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards. The Programme also provides for performance monitoring and reporting, including new measures which have been introduced.

The Committee is invited to consider and approve the Quality Assurance and Improvement Programme together with the revised performance measures.

7. Six-monthly Review of Corporate Risks and Risk Management Update 
Ath-sgrùdadh Sia-mìosail air Cunnartan Corporra agus Fios às Ùr mu Rianachd Cunnairt

There is circulated Report No. AS/29/14 dated 6 November 2014 by the Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management which provides details of the six-monthly review of the corporate risks by the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) and other risk management activities.

The Committee is invited to scrutinise the corporate risk register provided at Appendix 1 and consider and note the revised format of the risk profile at Appendix 2, both appended to the report.

8. Annual Report of the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland   
Aithisg Bhliadhnail a’ Choimiseanair airson Bhun-tomhasan Beusail ann am Beatha Phoblach

There is circulated Report No. AS/30/14 dated 10 November 2014 by the Depute Chief Executive/Director of Corporate Development which presents a summary of the Commissioner’s Annual Report for 2013/14 for Members information.

The Committee is invited to consider and note the content of the Public Commissioner’s Annual Report.

9. Annual Report of Scottish Public Service Ombudsman Cases received by the Council 2013/14 
Cùisean Ombudsman Sheirbheisean Poblach na h-Alba a Fhuair a’ Chomhairle – Aithisg Bhliadhnail 2013/14

There is circulated Report No. AS/31/14 dated 11 November 2014 by the Chief Executive which sets out the number and types of complaint against the Council that have been referred to the Office of the Scottish Public Sector Ombudsman (SPSO) in the preceding year and the subsequent judgement in the cases where the SPSO has concluded his inquiry.  It also provides a comparison with the Council’s performance in 2012/13.

The Committee is invited to consider and note the details of the report.

10. External Audit Reports  
Aithisgean Sgrùdaidh bhon Taobh A-muigh

The following summarises the external audit report prepared by the Council’s External Auditors (Audit Scotland) issued since the last Audit and Scrutiny Committee:-

  • The Highland Council’s Annual Report on the 2013/14 Audit

The Committee is invited to note the terms of the report.

11. Scrutiny Review – Using Cost Information to Improve Performance: are you getting it right? and Managing Performance: are you getting it right?
Ath-sgrùdadh – A’ Cleachdadh Fiosrachadh Cosgais gus Coileanadh a Leasachadh: a bheil thu ga fhaighinn ceart?

There is circulated Report No. AS/32/14 dated 7 November 2014 by the Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management which provides details of the findings from the Scrutiny Working Group’s review of two Audit Scotland National Reports: “Using Cost Information to Improve Performance: are you getting it right?” and “Managing Performance: are you getting it right?”

There is also circulated for approval Minutes of the meetings of the Scrutiny Working Group held on 9 November 2012, 17 January, 27 February, 8 March and 9 April 2013.

The Committee is invited to consider and note the Scrutiny Working Group’s report on “Using Cost Information to Improve Performance: are you getting it right?” and “Managing Performance: are you getting it right?” together with the actions to be taken.

12. Corporate Complaint Process Report

There is circulated Report No. AS/33/14 dated 11 November 2014 by the Head of Digital Transformation which provides an update for Members on the Councils Corporate Complaints Process for the period 1 April 2014 to 30 September 2014. Comparative data on our annual performance is also included along with a high level analysis of our complaint handling and how we are using this to better inform our understanding of complaints and improve performance.  

The Committee is invited to note the:-

i.    Council six month performance results and the improving direction of travel indicated for Stage 2 complaints;
ii.   actions underway to support the improvement of the Complaint Handling Process as demonstrated in the Action Plan; and
iii.  Council commitment to use the Public Sector Improvement Framework (PSIF) as a tool to improve and drive performance.