Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms 1 & 2 - Deanes. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services Team 

Link: Video recording

Items
No. Item

18/19

Apologies for absence and substitutions

Minutes:

Councillor P Harvey was replaced by Councillor S Grant.

 

19/19

Declarations of interest

Minutes:

Councillors D Potter and J Westbrook declared an interest in item 10 of the Agenda and proposed to vacate the meeting at that point.

 

20/19

Urgent matters

To consider any items of business, other than those shown on this agenda and which, by reason of special circumstances to be stated at the meeting, in the opinion of the Chairman, should be considered at the meeting as a matter of urgency.

 

Minutes:

There were no urgent matters.

 

21/19

Minutes of the meeting held on 24 June 2019 pdf icon PDF 212 KB

The Chair will move that the minutes of the meeting be signed as a correct record. The only part of the minutes that can be discussed is their accuracy.

Minutes:

The minutes of the meeting held on the 24 June 2019 were confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chair.

 

The Committee made reference to 7/19 of the minutes, and requested that the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Property attend the September meeting in order to present a report which covered all aspects of residential investment.

 

22/19

Response to Ernst and Young Assurance Letter pdf icon PDF 325 KB

Contact Officer: Sue Cuerden

The purpose of this report is to inform the committee of the annual assurance letter received from the council’s external auditors, Ernst and Young, and to agree a response to this from the committee.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the report which informed the committee of the annual assurance letter which had been received from the council’s external auditors, Ernst and Young.

 

The Chair informed the Committee that he had made a small number of amendments to the proposed response to the letter, which had been circulated to the Committee at the beginning of the meeting.

 

Members were concerned in regard to the answer to question 6 of the letter “Was the Committee aware of any actual or potential litigation or claims?” The Committee stressed that they would like an explicit statement which would clearly state whether the Council were aware of any. A request was made by the committee to receive an update of any potential litigation or claims against the council. The Executive Director of Finance and Resources stated that Officers would confirm at the next meeting exactly what could be disclosed, however some members felt that there would be no reason for the information not to be disclosed in some way, for example, on pink papers.

 

The Committee agreed that the wording in the response should be amended to reflect that the Committee had requested that they be provided with information on any potential legal claims and challenges on a regular basis.

 

Questions were also raised in regard to receiving sufficient information on risk and it was confirmed that the item would be brought to a future meeting of the Committee.

 

Reference was also made in relation to question 1 of the report as some members felt that they did not have sufficient oversight of the council’s management policies.

 

Resolved: The committee agree the response subject to the proposed amendments.

 

23/19

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Audit results report (ISA260) pdf icon PDF 5 MB

Contact Officer: Dean Pletts

The report summarises the audit conclusion in relation to the audit of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council (the Council) for 2018/19.

Minutes:

Mr Kevin Suter from EY introduced the report which summarised the audit conclusion in relation to the audit of the Council for 2018/19.

 

Members requested to be notified of any items over £50,000 but below the level that would require an adjustment. The Auditors confirmed that there was only one such item, a reclassification between debtors and creditors of £64,000.

 

Some members questioned the valuation process for properties, as there had been a reduction in value reflected in the balance sheet when compared to the last year. EY confirmed that they were happy that it had been properly reflected in the accounts and explained that there had been a decrease in retail valuations generally over the course of the year.

 

Members queried page 41 of the report and the reference to the Manydown development project as it stated that it involved both the Council and Hampshire County Council, who each had a 50% share of the joint venture. Members also requested the Auditors view of the Manydown Company and their interest in the project.  The Auditors explained that the work which had been carried out had focused on how the project had been governed to date, the setup of the company and the partnership arrangements.

 

Some members felt that the summary was not accurate due to the fact that it seemed to suggest that there were only two interested parties in the project, the two councils. EY confirmed that they were happy with the arrangements and the summary as the key issue had been scoped and the joint venture arrangements had been reviewed. The Executive Director of Finance and Resources clarified that the accounts contained the leasehold only and the freehold was a separate issue.

 

Resolved: The Committee notes the report.

 

24/19

Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2019 pdf icon PDF 5 MB

Contact Officer: Dean Pletts

The Committee are requested to approve the Statement of Accounts for the Year Ended 31 March 2019.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Executive Director of Finance and Resources introduced the report which requested that the Committee approve the Statement of Accounts for the Year ended 31 March 2019. The Executive Director also made reference to the addendum sheet which had been circulated at the start of the meeting which contained additions to the previously circulated schedule of amendments.

 

Members queried the figures in relation to interim senior officer posts and whether they included costs such as NI and pension contributions and selection and interviewing costs. The Accountancy Manager confirmed that the figures were the payments that were made directly to the agencies and not payments to the individuals.

 

EY confirmed that the Council should be in a position to sign off on the accounts on or before the deadline (Wednesday 31st July 2019).

 

Questions were also raised in relation to Page 84 of the report, the summary of risks and uncertainty, and questioned whether the inability to recruit a skilled workforce was a larger than marginal risk when compared to the costs associated with employing interim staff. The Executive Director of Finance and Resources confirmed as a whole, across the organisation the risk was marginal however acknowledged that there may be sections of the Council where the risk was more significant when trying to recruit.

 

Political groups impacting on governance was also mentioned as some members questioned whether the risk would be reassessed due to the fact that the Council now had no overall control. The Executive Director explained that the reference was backward looking but that it would be reassessed when the risk register was updated.

 

Resolved: The Committee

 

1)    Thanks the Officers and the Auditors for their hard work.

2)    Approves the Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2019.

 

25/19

Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) - Annual Report pdf icon PDF 315 KB

Contact Officer: Jackie Tatam

This report provides the Committee with an update on authorisations under RIPA to the end of June 2019 and other associated RIPA activities.

Minutes:

The Data Protection Officer introduced the report which provided the Committee with an update on authorisations under RIPA to the end of June 2019 and other associated RIPA activities.

 

Resolved: The Committee notes the report.

 

26/19

General Data Protection Regulation - ICO Outcome following reported data breach pdf icon PDF 220 KB

Contact Officer: Jackie Tatam  

This report provides an update to the Committee following a recent decision by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) into a data breach.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Data Protection Officer introduced the report which provided an update to the Committee following a recent decision by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) into a data breach.

 

Resolved: The Committee notes the report.

27/19

Requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and Environmental Information Regulations 2004 pdf icon PDF 307 KB

Contact Officer: Jackie Tatam

This report has been produced following the concerns raised by a member of the public into the procedure followed when dealing with requests made under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) and Environmental Information Regulations (EIR).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Data Protection Officer introduced the report which had been produced following concerns raised by a member of the public in relation to the procedure followed when dealing with requests made under the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) and Environmental Information Regulations (EIR).

 

The Chair proposed that due to the confidential nature of certain information contained within the agenda item, the Committee pass a resolution that by virtue of paragraph 1, 2 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972, the public be excluded from the meeting.     

 

On resumption of the open session, the Chair confirmed that the Committee had discussed, made comment and questioned the information contained in the confidential papers.

 

Resolved: The Committee

 

1)    Recommends that the new procedure is reviewed by the Human Resources Committee.

 

2)    Requests that the Internal Audit team review the process and add it to their work programme for the year.

 

3)    Notes the report.

 

28/19

Audit and Accounts work programme pdf icon PDF 103 KB

The Committee is asked to note and review it’s work programme.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the work programme and explained that there were no changes to work programme other than the requests for the two reports which had been discussed earlier in the meeting. The residential investment report, which the Committee again requested that the Cabinet Member attend the meeting for and the clarification on what information could be provided in relation to actual or potential litigation or claims.