Agenda and draft minutes

Please note slightly later start time, General Purposes Committee - Thursday, 19th January, 2023 7.15 pm

Venue: Conference Room, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA. View directions

Contact: Marie Lowe, Governance and Scrutiny Officer, 020 8132 1558 Email: Democracy@enfield.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

WELCOME & APOLOGIES

Minutes:

No apologies for absence had been received for the meeting.

 

The Council’s Chief Accountant, Annette Trigg, together with representatives from the External Auditor, BDO, David Eagles and Sebastian Evans joined the meeting remotely.

2.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

To receive any declarations of interest.

Minutes:

Cllr Nawshad Ali declared that he was a Member of the Council’s Local Pension Board.

 

Cllr Sabri Ozaydin declared that he was a Member of the Council’s Pension Policy and Investment Committee.

3.

MINUTES OF THE PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 82 KB

To approve the minutes of the meetings held on 1 December 2022 as a true and correct record.

Minutes:

The minutes of the General Purposes Committee meeting held on 1 December 2022 be AGREED subject to the following amendments:

 

3.1    Cllr Alessandro Georgiou asked that the minutes be amended to reflect his comments at the meeting that a standard invitation be extended to the Cabinet Member for Finance and Performance, Cllr Tim Leaver, to attend each meeting of the committee as the stakeholder and to answer any questions arising from the reports.

 

The Director of Law and Governance advised that whilst the minutes of the last meeting could be amended to reflect Cllr Alessandro Georgiou request, there was no requirement in the Council’s Constitution for Cabinet Members to attend all meetings. 

 

3.1  That Cllr Alessandro Georgiou asked that the minutes be amended to show that the reason that Cllr Elisa Morreale had been absent from the last meeting of the Committee, at which Cllr Hannah Dyson had substituted, was because she had attended a Ward Forum which was held on the same evening

4.

Update on the Audit of the 2019/20 and 2020/21 Statement of Accounts and Pension Fund and Progress on the 2021/22 Council's Accounts - including BDO (External Auditor) Report on Statement of Accounts

For the Committee to receive a verbal update on the Audit of the 2019/20 and 2020/21 Statement of Accounts and Pension Fund and progress on the 2021/22 Council's Accounts.  An update will also be provided by the Council’s External Auditors, BDO.

Minutes:

The Committee received a verbal update and PowerPoint presentation from the Director of Finance - Corporate update on the audit of the 2019/20 and 2020/21 statement of accounts and pension fund and progress on the 2021/22 Council's accounts.

                                                                                               

The Director of Finance - Corporate, during his presentation, highlighted his concerns that the work undertaken by BDO on the 2019/20 audit to finalise the accounts had been further delayed, with a revised deadline for the completion of the review and any follow-up would now be the end of February 2023. The Committee noted that, following the information received from BDO advising of the new delays in preventing any further sign-off of the 2019/20 accounts, a conversation had been held with BDO regarding the critical path and the sizeable resources required to address the issues raised, not least the 123 additional comments.

 

The Director of Finance - Corporate informed Members that the bulletin issued by CIPFA on 11 January 2023 set out the requirements to address the Infrastructure Assets issues raised. The LBE Finance Team were reviewing the requirements and working with highways colleagues to complete the changes to the accounts, aiming to complete this work by late January 2023. This would then be submitted to BDO for review.

 

The Director of Finance also advised that there are still further issues which had been raised and was part of the 2020/21 audit. This was the testing of school asset valuations and was also likely to have a significant impact on the 2019/20 valuations and required an adjustment to the 2019/20 accounts and a prior period adjustment for 2018/19 comparatives. LBE staff had only been made aware of this issue two days before the meeting and were now working to establish the position and the values/assets impacted. This was going to further delay the signing-off of the 2019/20 Accounts.

 

Members noted the update on the 2020/21 audit and that BDO had been asked to provide a date when the audit would be completed as the Council’s LBE Finance Team would continue working on the audit until then. Due to delays in finalising the 2019/20 accounts this was now estimated that it would be taken to the meeting in May/June 2023. BDO had been asked to either confirm this date or to advise an alternative.

 

The Partner provided a verbal update and PowerPoint presentation on the progress on the 2019/20 and 2020/21 audits, together with an update on the International Standards of Auditing (ISA) 265 recommendations. The presentation also detailed the reasons BDO had been unable to progress the audit for 2019/20.                                                                                 

 

The Partner advised that there had been some residual tidying points to go through which were listed out and needed to be worked through. He considered there to be a couple of days’ worth of tidying in terms of the 2020 roll forward position and this was where they were getting to the point to review the comparators by comparing the information, BDO held at 2019 to what was being used in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.

5.

Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) Review Action Plan pdf icon PDF 758 KB

The report provides an update on the recommendations from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) review of the General Purposes Committee (GPC), overview of the updated guidance on the role of the Audit Committee and proposed actions in response.

Minutes:

The report provided an update on the recommendations from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA)’s review of the General Purposes Committee, an overview of the updated guidance on the role of the Audit Committee and the proposed actions in response.

 

AGREED that the report and actions be noted.

 

6.

Treasury Management Strategy Statement for 2023/24 to 2032/33 pdf icon PDF 356 KB

The report sets out the Council’s proposed Treasury Management Strategy Statement (TMSS) for the period 2023/24 to 2032/33, and Annual Investment Strategy (AIS) for the year ended 31 March 2024, together with supporting information for recommendation to Cabinet to review the strategy and to Council to approve the Strategy.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report set out the Council’s proposed Treasury Management Strategy Statement (TMSS) for the period 2023/24 to 2032/33, and Annual Investment Strategy (AIS) for the year ended 31 March 2024, together with supporting information for recommendation to Cabinet to review the Strategy and to Council to approve the Strategy.

Officers noted that a correction to page 26 – Table 3: Balance Sheet Summary and Forecast and paragraph 48, which referred to Table 2 as there was no Table 2 in the document pack.                                    

The Monitoring Officer proposed that the recommendations should be ammended slightly:

The Committee AGREED the amended recommendations:

1.    That the Treasury Management Strategy Statement (TMSS) for the period 2023/24 to 2032/33, and Annual Investment Strategy (AIS) for the year ended 31 March 2024, together with supporting information NOTED; and

 

2.    That the General Purposes Committee will be invited to

               i.        Receive, review and comment on the Treasury Management Practices, attached to the report as Annex B, annually, and                                                                                                           

              ii.        Receive and review and comment on the quarterly Treasury Management monitoring reports.                                                                                                                                                       

7.

Audit and Risk Management Service Progress Update pdf icon PDF 767 KB

The General Purposes Committee is recommended to note the work completed by the Audit and Risk Management Service during the period 1 April 2022 to 30 November 2022 and the key themes and outcomes arising from this work.

Minutes:

The General Purposes Committee  were asked to note the work completed by the Audit and Risk Management Service during the period 1 April 2022 to 30 November 2022 and the key themes and outcomes arising from this work.

 

The Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management assured Members that although records in relation to the charges invoiced for CCTV for notice processing and cashless parking had not been evidenced for two or three years, robust processes had been put in place and testing was due to be conducted at the end of January 2023. A more robust Procurement Team had given added value to the work undertaken around contract procedure rules. The effect of which value was being seen across the organisation.     The Annual Report on Procurement would be brought to Committee in June 2023 which would provide further details.            

 

The Committee acknowledged that staff did change over time and expressed concern that rigorous control systems had not been in place and requested evidence that the control system had changed be reported back to the Committee, together with assurance of the existing processes regarding checks and processes.                                                                       

           

The Executive Director Resources reassured the Committee that the challenges put by the Assurance Board to the Head of an under preforming service were very demanding and Senior Officers had to provide detailed explanations and solutions when a service area was not performing as expected. It was right and proper for Officers to be called to account and challenged by the Assurance Board Members.

 

It was noted that the number of overdue audits for the Place and Resources Departments, were significantly high when compared with other Departments. Members requested that the Committee be provided with further details with regards to the overdue audits, particularly with regard to the number of overdue high-risk actions.                                                                              

 

AGREED that the report be NOTED.

8.

Counter Fraud Policies pdf icon PDF 799 KB

The report presents the following policy documents for approval by the Committee:

 

Counter Fraud Sanction & Prosecution Policy

Whistleblowing Policy & Procedures (incorporating the Model Whistleblowing Policy & Procedures for employees and workers in maintained schools, PRUs, academies and others)

Anti-Money Laundering Policy & Guidance

Minutes:

The report presented the following policy documents for approval by the Committee:

 

1.    Counter Fraud Sanction and Prosecution Policy

2.    Whistleblowing Policy and Procedures (incorporating the Model Whistleblowing Policy and Procedures for employees and workers in maintained schools, PRUs, academies and others)

3.    Anti-Money Laundering Policy & Guidance

 

AGREED that:

 

  1. The Counter Fraud Sanction and Prosecution Policy, the Whistleblowing Policy and Procedures and the Anti-Money Laundering Policy and Guidance be APPROVED; and

 

  1. The policies referred to above be reviewed by General Purposes Committee every three years or sooner should there be any major changes made.

9.

Update of General Purposes Committee Member Training Covered and Attendance

The Committee to receive a verbal update of General Purposes Committee Member training covered and attendance during the current Municipal Year.

Minutes:

Members AGREED that details of the General Purposes Committee Member training covered and attendance during the current Municipal Year 2022/23 be circulated by email.

10.

DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS

To note the date of the next meeting is at 7pm on Thursday, 16 March 2023.

Minutes:

NOTED that the next meeting of the General Purposes Committee was scheduled to take place at 7pm on Thursday, 16 March 2023.