Agenda and minutes

General Purposes Committee - Wednesday, 28th June, 2023 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Democracy 020 8132 1558 Email: 

No. Item




The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.


Apologies for absence were received from;

Cllr Joanne Laban, substituted by Cllr Edward Smith

Cllr Alessandro Georgiou substituted by Cllr Paul Pratt

Cllr Ayten Guzel

Penny Halliday (Acting Director of Meridian Water)



Members of the committee are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests relevent to the items on the agenda.


In relation to item 5 Cllr Michael Rye declared that he was a Governor at St Andrews School (Enfield) CE Primary School.



To agree the minutes of the General Purposes Committee meeting held on 19 January and 16 March 2023.

Additional documents:


AGREED that the minutes of the previous meeting held on 19 January and 16 March 2023 be confirmed as a correct record.


2022-23 Annual Counter Fraud Report pdf icon PDF 250 KB

The Committee are reccomended to note the work completed by the Audit and Risk Management Service’s Counter Fraud Team during the period 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023


Gemma Young (Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management) presented this item highlighting the key points from the report, including overpayments being identified and potential savings of £2.6m, mainly through National Fraud Initiative data experts, right to buy clams and financial investigations.


An area of increased activity in the past year has been in relation to the investigation of secondary employment where there have been 5 cases in Enfield. Training has been provided to prevent secondary employment issues and whistleblowing has been promoted.


Responding to Members questions, Officers explained they have recovered 8 Council properties this year and are keen to increase the recovery rate on arising housing fraud.


NOTED 2022-23 Annual Counter Fraud Report.



2022-23 Annual Data Protection Officer Report pdf icon PDF 759 KB

The committee is recommended to note the work completed by the Data Protection Officer during 2022-23 and the themes and outcomes arising from this work.



Gemma Young (Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management) introduced the report which explained that there had been 99 corporate breaches during the year, with just 5 needing to be referred to the ICO which all resulted in no further action. Data protection impact assessments has been made more user friendly and run an awareness campaign on the new format. Corporate training has been delivered to staff and Members including Lunch & Learn sessions. Specific training was provided for staff in the People department.


There has been positive engagement from Schools, 44 breaches were reported, 9 of which met the threshold to be reported to the ICO. No further action was taken as the schools had taken steps to mitigate the risks.


In response to a question from Members, Officers confirmed that no members had lost a device, and no person had lost more than one device. If a device is lost it can be wiped remotely.


NOTED the 2022-23 Annual Data Protection Officer Report.




2022-23 Annual Report on Contract Procedure Rules, Waivers and Procurement Services Update pdf icon PDF 689 KB

I.          To note the annual update to General Purposes Committee on procurement compliance, numbers of waivers, and procurement spend.

II.         To note the update on Procurement Services


Claire Rilley (Head of Policy and Contract Development) and Michael Sprosson (Head of Procurement Services) presented this item highlighting the key points from the update report including the new procurement service and the emerging procurement bill.


The procurement bill requires new transparency which means more admin reporting work for the Council. The bill is going for its third and final reading in the house of commons, implementation is expected in October 2024.

ACTION: Michael Sprosson to send link to procurement self-service intranet page


In response to Members queries on low carbon footprint measures, officers explained that they do not have this yet but are working with the internal climate

action team and external partners.


The local spend value is up £10m with Meridian water included in this figure. Officers explained that contract procedure rules include how many local quotations are needed and there is good indication this has been going well.


Officers have been engaging with Enterprise Enfield organising events to bring buyers and sellers together. E learning has been running for local entrepreneurs and start-ups.

Following a query from Members, Officers confirmed that the translation service is a pay by use service and the cycle to work scheme is run by HMRC which has a £0 cost to the Council, but the money used for it goes through the Council. The waste collection software will optimise the efficiency of routes. The car park AMPR software helps to improve security and has the function to make charges for parking. Members commented that in future they wish to see contract lengths and costs included in the report.

ACTION: Claire Rilley to confirm length and cost of the translation service contract.

Noted: the 2022-23 Annual Report on Contract Procedure Rules, Waivers and Procurement Services Update




BDO Progress Report on the External Audit of Accounts pdf icon PDF 94 KB

The Committee are reccomended to note the report.


Kevin Bartle (Interim Director of Finance) presented this item explaining that there is ongoing disappointment that BDO could not attend this committee again this evening, and would additionally not be present at the July meeting despite Officers requesting their attendance and explaining the importance. 


The Government have recently issues new guidelines which recommend that external auditors set out in writing their plans for completing audits to the Council’s Committees. Such a plan was considered at this meeting.


The majority of the 2019/20 accounts audit has already been completed; the infrastructure position however has not yet been resolved. BDO have advised that they will be reporting back to GPC in October on the 19/20 audit. The Government have appointed Neil Harris at the FRC to help resolve the national audit backlog issue and are committed to resolving the problem. Members expressed their dissatisfaction at BDO’s non attendance.

ACTION: The Leader to write to BDO to express the dissatisfaction at the progress of their audit work and lack of attendance at committee. The expectation for the Council’s external auditors to regularly attend meetings of the General Purpose Committee and to provide an action plan to address how they will complete all audits up to 22/23.

BDO have offered to meet with the Chair of the Committee and Cabinet Member prior to the next GPC Committee as they are unable to attend the meeting.
ACTION: Fay to arrange

NOTED: BDO Progress Report on the External Audit of Accounts


ARMS Progress Update pdf icon PDF 983 KB

     I.        The Committee are reccomended to note the work completed by the Audit and Risk Management Service during the period 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 and the key themes and outcomes arising from this work.

    II.        To note the progress made on the 2023-24 Internal Audit Plan.



Gemma Young introduced the report explaining that the audit plan for 2022/23 is 85% complete and 15% in draft. The audit plan will be coming to the committee in July. Outstanding audit agreed actions will come to the committee with the relevant Directors.


Members had questions on what schools are doing to turn around their progress. Officers explained that it is too soon to follow up as the school has agreed actions within time limits. This will be reported back to committee in due course.


Officers confirmed it is common practice for the Chief Executive to make an audit request, the Dugdale has a potential overspend and a Senior Officer had left the Council upon it opening.


Kevin Bartle (Interim Director of Finance) confirmed his team have now provided the information required on their audit in relation to budget and forecasting. Colleagues are confident the actions in place will be sufficient. Gemma’s team are looking into this.


NOTED: ARMS Progress Update



Statement of Accounts pdf icon PDF 272 KB

  1. This report includes the draft 2022/23 Statement of Accounts and provides an update on the audit status for each year of the open accounts. London Borough of Enfield has open, unaudited accounts for the three financial years 2019/20, 2020/21, and 2021/22.



Kevin Bartle and Annette Trigg introduced the item confirming that Enfield Council achieved publication of its 2022-23 accounts by the statutory deadline of 31 May 2023 and was one of only eight London Boroughs to meet the deadline. The audit of the 20/21 accounts is 60% complete.


Following a query from Members, officers explained that, in their view, the fundamental issue is that there is no statutory deadline for external auditors to complete their audit work. PSAA had previously attended the committee and explained the new contracting arrangements would include clauses, which would no longer require payment in advance.

Officers further explained that there is a statutory deadline for the NHS audits but not for local authorities which explains why audit firms turn their attention to NHS audits at this time of year at the expense of local authorities.


NOTED Statement of Accounts


Annual Governance Statement


Kevin Bartle presented this item, highlighting the key points.


The Finance Improvement Board is moving to be called the Financial Resilience Board, which is an internal board to drive continuous finance improvement. The Board is chaired by the Finance Director.


Members from the opposition commented that they did not agree the new Council Plan or Council Tax scheme.


Following a query from Members, officers confirmed that the reserves had reduced by approximately £30m, £31m of which was the risk reserve by the end of March 2023.

AGREED  to approve the draft 2022-23 AGS for inclusion in the Council’s draft 2022-23 annual accounts.



To note the next meeting of the General Purposes Committee is scheduled to take place at 7pm on Wednesday 26 July 2023.


NOTED the future meeting dates.




AGREED to pass a resolution under Section 100(A) of the Local Government Act 1972 excluding the press and public from the meeting for the items of business listed on part 2 of the agenda on the grounds that they involved the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in those paragraphs of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act (as amended by the Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006).


Meridian Water Risk Register

The Committee are recommended to note the latest Meridian Water programme risk and issue registers.


The confidential report provided an update on the Meridian Water Risk Register.


AGREED that the report be noted.