Minutes of the Meeting held on 19 October 2020
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Resolved: That the minutes of the Audit, Risk and Governance Committee held on 19 October, 2020 be confirmed and would be signed by the Chairman.
Ruth Lowry, Head of Internal Audit, advised the committee that there was no Internal Audit Plan progress update, as the significantly curtailed plan was not being progressed by the usual methodology and there was therefore no formal update to present. However, a favourable internal audit opinion was anticipated regarding the council's governance, risk management and control frameworks. This could be evidenced sufficiently via fact finding through the interrogation of documents and discussion with relevant senior managers. Her approach was supported by other heads of internal audit as well as the Chartered Institute of Internal Audit and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.
It was emphasised that the ongoing audit regarding council decision making by officers and councillors, was focused on compliance with the Constitution not the political aspects of decision-making. The political parties represented on the committee had been given an opportunity to share their observations on decision-making and committee members were encouraged to make contact with Ruth Lowry if they wished to raise any non-political issues in relation to the audit.
In response to questions:
· Ruth Lowry confirmed that her work was reliant on the co-operation of senior management and she was receiving that co-operation.
· Laura Sales confirmed that county councillors were informed of certain decisions, such as disposal of property and highway issues that had been made in their division. However, there was no guarantee that members would be notified of every decision made in their area. Members commented that any opportunities to improve communications to county councillors to ensure decision making was fully informed would be welcomed.
Date of decision: 25/01/2021
Decided at meeting: 25/01/2021 - Audit, Risk and Governance Committee