Venue: Committee Room, Council Offices, Urban Road, Kirkby-in-Ashfield. View directions
Contact: Lynn Cain
Declarations of Disclosable Pecuniary and Non Disclosable Pecuniary/Other Interests
There were no declarations of
Minutes PDF 137 KB
that the minutes of the meeting of
the Committee held on 28th November, 2016, be received
and approved as a correct record.
KPMG: Annual Report on Grants and Returns Work 2015/16 PDF 250 KB
Sophie Jenkins, KPMG Director,
presented the report which summarised the results of the work
undertaken on the certification of the Council’s 2015/16
grant claims and returns.
During 2015/16, certification
work was carried out on two returns, namely Housing Benefit Subsidy
Claim and Pooling of Housing Capital Receipts. There were no issues
with the Pooling of Housing Capital Receipts which received an
unqualified assurance report.
The Housing Benefit Subsidy
Claim received a qualified assurance report due to a number of
errors found during the sample testing.
However, the errors were not significant and additional work had
been suggested to the Council to review the errors and consider
additional quality control arrangements to address the issues in
In response to a question,
Members were informed that the indicative fees for the work on the
Housing Benefit Subsidy Claim had been increased from £12,930
to £19,900 due to a larger number of cases being
re-performed, time spent supporting the Benefits team to complete
the workbooks and the repopulating of workbooks due to incorrect or
incomplete information being provided.
Having included the
£3,000 cost for the Pooling of Housing Capital Receipts, the
total fee for the work for 2015/16 was £22,900.
that the Certification of Grants
and Returns for 2015/16, as presented to the Committee, be received
KPMG: External Audit Plan 2016/17 PDF 1 MB
Sophie Jenkins presented the
External Audit Plan for 2016/17 to the Committee. It was acknowledged that there had been some
changes to the Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting and
that this would result in some presentational changes to the
Council’s final accounts.
Materiality for planning purposes had been set at £1.2
million and errors would be reported over the agreed level of
Two standard audit risks in
relation to Fraudulent Income Recognition and Management Override
of Controls would be considered and two further significant risks
had been identified which required specific attention, namely
‘significant changes in the pension liability due to LGPS
Triennial Valuation’ and ‘bringing Ashfield Homes
Limited back under the control of the Authority. A final area of audit focus would consider
‘disclosure around retrospective restatement of Comprehensive
Income and Expenditure (CIES), Movement in Reserves Statement
(MiRS) and Expenditure and Funding Analysis (EFA) from
1st April, 2016.
In relation to the Value for
Money (VFM) audit, the approach would be fundamentally unchanged
from that adopted in 2015/16. The recent VFM risk assessment
regarding the Council’s current arrangements had identified
one significant VFM risk in relation to ‘medium term
financial planning/delivery of saving plans. The risk was not unique to this Council but had
been identified within other local authorities’ assessments
as a result of the impact of recent Government funding
that the External Audit Plan for
2016/17, as presented to the Committee, be received and
Ashfield District Council Audit Plan 2017/18 PDF 1 MB
Adrian Manifold, CMAP Audit
Manager, presented the report and took Members through a short
presentation to explain the process for selecting audit reviews
based on a modern risk-based approach.
Each risk was assessed against 8 measures (4 impact based and 4
likelihood based) and awarded a suitable rating. Information was also sought from the
Council’s Corporate Leadership Team (CLT) to identify the
Council’s main risks (through its Risk Registers) with the
data being combined with the results of the CMAP selection process
to establish an overall Plan.
Once the process has been
completed, a risk score was attributed to each audit review and
prioritised as either a High, Medium or Low risk. This formed the basis of the annual Audit Plan and
audit days were allocated based on the risk score and complexity of
the review. However, the Audit
Plan was a flexible document and changes were possible throughout
the year as a result of emerging high risk issues and unavoidable
diversion of resources.
The detailed Audit Plan
contained a schedule of all the agreed audit reviews but Members
acknowledged that there were not enough resources to undertake all
the reviews annually so the Plan currently worked on a rolling 5
year programme to completion.
To conclude Committee were
asked to note that the allocation of audit days for 2017/18
indicated a slant towards the Housing directorate which had
resulted from the bringing back in-house of Ashfield Homes Limited
in October of last year.
Members took the opportunity to
ask questions and debate the issue.
There was a consensus from the Committee that Members should play a
more active role in monitoring Risk Management and agreed it would
be prudent for the Audit Committee to have sight of the Risk
Registers at its next meeting for consideration.
the content of the Audit Plan for 2017/18, as
presented, be received and approved;
the Corporate Performance and Improvement Manager be
requested to submit the Council’s Risk Registers to the next
meeting of the Committee (June 2017) to enable Members to review
and consider the documents including their analysis of risk and
order of priority for action.
Ashfield District Council Audit Progress Report PDF 1 MB
Adrian Manifold presented the
report and summarised the audit progress from 1st
November, 2016 until 28th February, 2017. Six assignments had been completed which had all
received either a ‘Comprehensive’ or
The Payroll review had flagged
up a ‘significant risk’ in relation to the absence of a
robust process for ensuring the annual pension return for Ashfield
was completed in a timely manner. A
recommendation had been agreed with officers to ensure an improved
process was in place by 1st May, 2017. Members were reminded that monitoring
recommendations was part of the service offered by CMAP and an
update in relation to outstanding recommendations was included in
To conclude, Members were
advised that service delivery was currently a little over target
which was to be welcomed. It was
acknowledged that the permanent presence of the CMAP officer
(formerly the Council’s Senior Audit Officer) at the Council
offices had greatly contributed towards this target position and
had proven to be an effective way of working; something which CMAP
hoped to emulate in the future with other partner
that audit assignment progress as
at 28th February, 2017, as presented to Committee, be
received and noted.
To ensure Members are kept
fully informed of progress against the agreed Audit
(During consideration of this
item, Councillor Tom Hollis left the meeting at 7.17
Pension Assumptions for 2016/17 Statement of Accounts PDF 271 KB
The Corporate Finance Manger
presented the report and explained the purpose of the IAS19
(International Accounting Standards) and what assumptions had been
made by the Pension Fund Actuary as outlined in the briefing note
at Appendix A. The Council was required to comply with the
financial reporting standard when producing its annual Accounts and
reflect its commitment to potential retirement benefits
irrespective of whether they are actually paid out.
The net pension liability for
the 2015/16 financial year, at as at 31 March 2016, had been
calculated at £69.824m but it was acknowledged that the
overall net liability changed each financial year based on actual
performance of the fund and any differing assumptions as prepared
by Nottinghamshire County Council’s Pension Fund
Schemes’ Actuary, Barnett Waddingham.
Members were advised that the
assumptions made by the Actuary could be challenged. The Council has asked that a different assumption
be applied in respect of the pay award up to 2010 (i.e. 1% rather
than CPI over the period). The Committee were also asked to note
that the pension liability figures would increase in future years
due to the bringing back in-house of Ashfield Homes Limited and the
direct delivery of the Housing service.
that having taken account of
the Actuary’s briefing note as outlined at Appendix A and the
comments made in the Committee report, the IAS19 assumptions be
agreed as the basis for the calculation of the figures required for
the 2016/17 Statement of Accounts.
It is best practice that the
actuarial assumptions intended to be used in preparing the IAS19
figures within the Accounts are considered prior to their
application and use in the compilation of the actuary’s
report. As such this report delivers the Council’s
obligations as part of the closure of the 2016/17 Statement of
Accounting Policies 2016/17 and other Statement of Accounts Matters PDF 310 KB
The Corporate Finance Manager
presented the report and advised Members that the content of the
2016/17 Statement of Accounts would be slightly unusual as a result
of the inclusion of former AHL accounts, part way through the
financial year, following the bringing in-house of Ashfield Homes
Limited in October 2016. Substantial
changes had already been made to the Council’s accounting
systems and much work was still required to be undertaken to close
the company down and reacquire the assets.
Following the annual assessment
of all the Council’s policies, no significant amendments had
been made from the accounting policies adopted in 2015/16 apart
from those necessary as a result of transferring functions from the
Company back to the Council. These
included the following policies:
12. Interests in Companies & Other
13. Inventories and Long Term Contracts.
The Chartered Institute of
Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) were intending to issue an
accounting Bulletin giving further guidance on matters for the
production of the Statement of Accounts. To date, the guidance hadn’t been issued but
would be taken into account when producing the
However, it was intended that
the Income & Expenditure accounts in the statements will be
reported in the same structure as reported to the Corporate
Leadership Team and Members, which should make for easier reading
in the future.
the Accounting Policies outlined at Appendix A to
the report, be approved;
it be noted that any proposed amendments or changes to the policies
and associated relevant financial implications will be reported
back to Committee, as necessary.
To comply with statutory and
Prior to closing the meeting,
the Chairman took the opportunity to thank the Corporate Finance
Manager and her team for their hard work and commitment over the
previous year in relation to the AHL transfer and supporting the
work undertaken by the Council’s External Auditors,