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Any apologies for absence that have been received will be noted at this point.
Apologies for absence were received from Cllrs Brown and Palmer.
The committee is requested to approve the minutes of its meeting on 19 October 2020.
The minutes of the meeting held on 19 October 2020 were agreed as a correct record.
The chairman will announce any urgent items that due to special circumstances are to be dealt with under the Late Items agenda item.
There were no urgent items.
Declarations of Interest
These are to be made by members of the Corporate Governance and Audit Committee or other Chichester District Council members present in respect of matters on the agenda for this meeting.
There were no declarations of interest relating to business to be transacted on the agenda.
Public Question Time
The procedure for submitting public questions in writing by no later than noon 2 working days before the meetingis available here or from the Democratic Services Officer (whose contact details appear on the front page of this agenda).
No Public Questions had been submitted.
The Corporate Governance and Audit Committee is requested to consider and note the attached report which summarises the external auditor’s audit conclusion in relation to Chichester District Council’s financial position and the results of operations for the year ended 31 March 2019.
Mr Kevin Suter, Ernst and Young ltd (E&Y), introduced the report to members and outlined the executive summary, highlighting the challenges faced due to the impact of Covid-19 including remote working arrangements. However, he advised that quality had not been affected.
The Committee were advised that the audit had been completed successfully and E&Y were able to provide an unqualified audit opinion on the accounts as set out in the report, with particular attention drawn to the financial statement in section 2. Mr Suter thanked the Finance team for their work in completing the audit and welcomed questions from Committee Members.
In response to questions, the following was advised:
The Chairman thanked Mr Suter for the work completed.
That the report be noted.
That the Committee consider and approve the audited Statement of Accounts shown in Appendix 2 for the financial year ended 31 March 2020, note the outturn position and authorise the Letter of Representation to be given to the Council’s External Auditor.
Mr Mark Catlow was
welcomed to the meeting and introduced the report on the Statement
of Accounts 19/20 and the recommendation included. It was explained
that the Committee would normally consider the proposed accounting
policies and key judgements to be employed in preparing the
statement of accounts back in March 2020, however, due to the
impact of Covid-19 this was not possible. Helpfully, however, there were no significant
changes to accounting standards or policies that members needed to
consider prior to the preparation of the accounts themselves.
Members were directed to Appendix 1 which provided the clearest
illustration of the Council’s Statement of Accounts, in
addition to the infographic on page 85 of the report papers. Mr
Catlow invited questions of the Committee.
The Chairman thanked officers for the update and commended the improved and easily digestible presentation.
That the Committee approve the audited statement of accounts shown in Appendix 2 for the financial years ended 31 March 2020, note the out turn position and authorise the Letter of Representation to be given to the Council’s External Auditor.
That the Committee considers and recommends to Cabinet:
3.1 The key financial principles which underpin the financial management of the Council, and the 5 year Financial Strategy set out in appendix 1 to the agenda report.
3.2 That the Council maintains a minimum level of reserves of £4m for general purposes.
3.3 The updated Fees and Charging Policy.
That the Committee:
3.4 Notes the updated 5 year Financial Model in appendix 2 and the resources statement in appendix 3 to the agenda report.
Mr Ward was welcomed to the meeting and
introduced the report and gave detail of the content of the
Appendices 1, 2 and 3. He advised that since a decision taken by
Full Council to approve the acquisition of a new asset meant that
the resources available were just over £12million.
That the Committee considers and recommends to Cabinet:
1 The key financial principles which underpin the financial management of the Council, and the 5 year Financial Strategy set out in appendix 1 to the agenda report.
2 That the Council maintains a minimum level of reserves of £4m for general purposes.
3 The updated Fees and Charging Policy.
And that the Committee:
Notes the updated 5 year Financial Model in Appendix 2 and the resources statement in Appendix 3 to the agenda report.
Consider the draft Annual Report on Corporate Governance at appendix 1, the Annual Governance Statement 2019-2020 (appendix 2), and Internal Audit and Corporate Investigations Annual Report 2019-2020 (appendix 3), and to recommend these to the Council for approval.
Mr Stephen James was welcomed to the Committee and introduced the report and recommendations included, highlighting Appendix 2 of the report detailing 6 areas that had been added to the risk register. It was advised that overall Mr James was satisfied that the corporate governance, along with supporting controls and procedures, remain very strong within the Council. The Chairman welcomed comments and questions from the Committee.
The Committee welcomed the update and agreed that the report was well written, clear and concise. It was commented that the report would benefit from including the challenges faced by the Council and the implications the risks would have for the organisation.
The Committee considered the recommendations
in the report.
That the Committee consider that draft Annual Report on Corporate Governance at Appendix 1, the Annual Governance Statement 2019-2020 at Appendix 2 and the Internal Audit and Corporate Investigations Annual Report 2019-2020 at Appendix 3 and to recommend that the draft Annual Report on Corporate Governance at Appendix 1 to Full Council for approval.
2.1 The Committee notes the Council have awarded new contracts to two Enforcement Agents (bailiffs) who collect unpaid debts on behalf of the Revenues and Benefits and Parking Services teams.
2.2 That Officers provide an update on these contracts to committee within two years from the beginning of the new contracts.
Ms Caroline Jardine was welcomed to the
Committee and introduced the report for noting. It was advised that
the Council uses enforcement agents to collect monies owed to the
Council, on behalf of the revenues team and the parking enforcement
team. It was also advised there is no cost to the Council to use
these agents. Two enforcement agents had been awarded contracts
from April 2020. It was also advised an update would be provided in
two years regarding the performance of the contracts. Questions
were welcomed from the Committee.
It was advised that the evaluation of the
agents through the procurement process was reliant upon service
delivery and the rate of successful debt recovery.
That the Committee notes the Council have awarded new contracts to
two Enforcement Agents (bailiffs) who collect unpaid debts on
behalf of the Revenues and Benefits and Parking Services
2. That officers provide an update on these contracts to the committee within two years from the beginning of the new contracts.
2.1 That the Committee considers and notes the updating of the Councils Contract Procedure Rules.
2.2 That the amended Contract Procedure Rules be recommended to Full Council.
Mr Nicholas Bennett was welcomed to the
meeting and introduced the report and recommendations included.
Detail over the content of the report was provided and it was
advised that the new procedure rules had been simplified with
unnecessary sections removed, however due to potential further
changes an amended report may be considered at some point in the
new year. It was also advised that advice and guidance had been
sourced from Hampshire County Council as an example of best
1. That the Committee considers and notes the updating of the Councils Contract Procedure Rules.
2. That the amended Contract Procedure Rules be recommended to Full Council.
Exclusion of the Press and Public
There are no restricted items for consideration. However the document listed below includes information which is considered to be exempt under Paragraph 3
(Information relating to the financial or business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)) of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972 and is attached for members of the Committee and senior officers only (salmon paper).
Agenda item 8 – Appendix 08.2 – 5 Year Financial Model.
Before discussing the item, the Committee is asked to consider whether the public, including the press, should be excluded from the meeting on the grounds of exemption under Paragraph 3 Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 as indicated above and because, in all the circumstance of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption of that information outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information.
It was not necessary to resolve to exclude the press and public from the meeting.
The committee will consider any late items as follows:
a) Items added to the agenda papers and made available for public inspection
b) Items that the chairman has agreed should be taken as a matter of urgency by reason of special circumstances to be reported at the meeting
There were no late items.