Agenda and draft minutes

Joint Advisory Accounts and Audit Committee
Monday, 3rd December, 2018 4.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room A & B - SWH. View directions

Contact: Elaine Tibble (01305) 838223  Email: etibble@dorset.gov.uk

Items
No. Item

13.

CODE OF CONDUCT

Councillors are required to comply with requirements of the council’s Code of Conduct 2012 regarding disclosable pecuniary interests and non pecuniary interests which means you should:

Check
if there is an item of business on this agenda in which you have a disclosable pecuniary interest or non pecuniary disclosable interest.

Check
that your interest has been entered, where appropriate, onto your register of interests held by the Monitoring Officer.

If the interest is not entered in the council’s register of interests disclose, where appropriate, the interest at the meeting.  If pecuniary and in the absence of a dispensation to speak and/or vote, you must leave the meeting whilst the item is debated and resolved.  You must notify the Monitoring Officer of the interest within 28 days of the disclosure.

If the interest is non pecuniary you can stay in the room, take part and vote.

For further advice please contact Rob Firth, Monitoring Officer, in advance of the meeting.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

14.

MINUTES

To confirm the minutes of the last meeting, (25 June 2018), previously circulated.

Minutes:

The minutes of the last meeting held on 25 June 2018 were agreed and signed as a correct record.

15.

COUNCILLOR COMPLAINTS pdf icon PDF 68 KB

To update the Committee in relation to the Standards Regime at West Dorset District Council, Weymouth & Portland Borough Council and North Dorset District Council.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Property & Litigation and Deputy Monitoring Officer presented the annual report  which summarised councillor complaints received over the last 10/11 months.  Due to the process of LGR there was not time to revisit the  complaints process, so it was recommended that the current complaints processes continue until at least 1st April 2019.  The names of councillors were not included in the report but could be provided to the committee members in confidence if required.  There would most likely be a new Code of Standards after 1 April 2019.

 

Decision:

 

That after accepting that the complaints process did require a review, it was agreed that the current complaints processes continue until at least 1st April 2019.

16.

BUSINESS CONTINUITY UPDATE pdf icon PDF 69 KB

To update Members on the progress made to date on the development of the Business Continuity processes for the Dorset Councils Partnership.

Minutes:

The Assistant Head of Assets and Infrastructure updated the committee with the progress made to date on the development of the Business Continuity processes for the Dorset Councils Partnership.

 

The standby generator (previously at NDDC site) had been installed and successfully tested at Crookhill.  A policy was being worked on to ensure staff with mobile devices took them off site to ensure resilience if there was an emergency with the building.

 

Questions were raised regarding the safe transfer of digital data to Crookhill, and how frequently tests would be carried out.

 

The Assistant Head of Assets and Infrastructure would investigate and respond to the queries raised.

 

Decision:

 

a.         That a policy be introduced and distributed to all staff with Council laptops, phones etc for off site storage outside working hours to give greater resilience in a crisis.

b.         That a copy of Disaster Recovery materials and manuals be stored at our alternative site at Crookhill.

17.

HEALTH AND SAFETY UPDATE INCLUDING JSP pdf icon PDF 60 KB

  1. To ensure members are kept informed regarding work to maintain good

health and safety practice across the Partnership.

 

  1. To present a report on sickness absence and accident statistics.

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Corporate HR & OD Business Partner presented the Health and Safety Update including sickness, absence, accident statistics and the notes of the Joint Safety Panel meeting on 1 November 2018.

 

Appendix 2 of the report detailed sickness absence, to date the cumulative number of days lost per FTE for the 6 month period was 3.57 days which was a slight reduction on last year.  Long term absence had increased but short term absence was reduced.  The highest factor of the report related to mental health absence (including anxiety, stress, bereavement and depression), which was lower than last year.  Absence was monitored by trigger points and where necessary would include discussion with line managers, or a visit to  Occupational Health.

 

In response to a question regarding the electrical safety risks highlighted in the JSP minutes and the outcomes of the staff stress survey, the Corporate HR & OD Business Partner would investigate.

 

Decision:

 

That the notes from the Joint Safety Panel meeting on 1 November 2018 and the workforce reporting information was noted.

18.

ANNUAL AUDIT LETTERS pdf icon PDF 55 KB

To present the Annual Audit Letters for North Dorset District Council, West Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Head of Financial Services  presented the Annual Audit letter for the 3 sovereign  councils, this was a summary of information previously presented to the 3 councils in June. 

 

She advised that the new External Auditors would be Deloitte and no longer KPMG. 

 

As the 3 sovereign councils would cease to exist at the end of the financial year the reports would go to the new authority.

 

In response to a question regarding a comprehensive schedule of assets owned by the current councils, the Head of Financial Services advised that there was a register which included all assets of £10,000 and over.  There was also a GIS system on Dorset for You with maps showing land owned by the councils and there was still considerable work being carried out to ensure this was kept up to date.

 

There were items listed on the Assets and Infrastructure Technology Forge system.  Members felt it was important for senior officers to get together and agree a strategy with who owns what and how assets will be treated when the unitary council was formed.

 

Decision:

 

That the Annual Audit letter produced by the External Auditors was noted and the committee members requested more information regarding the Asset Management list.

19.

COMPLAINTS MONITORING UPDATE pdf icon PDF 97 KB

To receive the complaints monitoring update.

Minutes:

The Customer Services and Service Improvement Team Leader presented the Complaints Monitoring Update for Q1 and Q2.

 

She referred to the table at 5.4 of the report which reported that 32% of complaints had not met the corporate target, however as of September  there was a new supervisor in post which would help support this function.  The complexity of the complaints had impacted on the targets together with the concurrent priorities in teams.

 

Following LGR there is a complaints workstream in place to make sure policies are aligned from day 1 and a scheme in place to ensure outstanding complaints from the sovereign authorities would still be dealt with.

 

In response to a query asking how many GDPR breaches had occurred, the Customer Services and Service Improvement Team Leader would pass the request to the  Data Protection Officer.

 

Decision:

 

That the most recent information on complaints levels for the quarter 1 and quarter 2 was noted.

20.

REPORT OF INTERNAL AUDIT ACTIVITY pdf icon PDF 81 KB

To receive a report in relation to Internal Audit activity.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Internal Audit Activity report was presented by the Assistant Director of SWAP.

There were no significant risks reported but some partial assurances detailed on pages 87-89 of the report.  The delivery of the audit plan was on schedule and the number of outstanding recommendations were reduced to just one page.  SWAP would continue to monitor these after LGR.

 

Members voiced concerns regarding the inconsistency of sickness records and felt that it would be useful to know which departments were not performing in this area.  They were also disturbed by the number of empty homes.   The committee felt that these areas should be looked at further, however rather than bring more reports to the last JAAAC meeting in isolation it was more important to look at how these concerns could be fed into the new Dorset Council.

 

Decision:

 

That the reviews of Internal Audit were received.

 

 

21.

DRAFT WORKPLAN pdf icon PDF 56 KB

To review the draft workplan.

Minutes:

The work plan was noted, the Internal Audit Report in March would also include the 2018/19 Audit Plan.

22.

URGENT ITEMS

To consider any items of business which the Chair has had prior notification and considers to be urgent pursuant to Section 100B (4) (b) of the Local Government Act 1972.  The reason for the urgency shall be specified in the minutes.

Minutes:

There were no urgent items.

23.

EXEMPT BUSINESS

To move the exclusion of the press and the public for the following item in view of the likely disclosure of exempt information within the meaning of paragraph   X  of schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 (as amended)

 

There are no exempt items

Minutes:

There was no exempt business.