To receive the minutes of the Governance and Audit Committee meeting held on 14 June 2023 (copy enclosed).
The minutes of the Governance and Audit Committee meeting held on the 14 June 2023 were presented for consideration.
Matters of accuracy –
Page 10 – Council Performance Self- Assessment 2022 to 2023 - Penultimate bullet point should read ‘Members thanked officers’.
Page 13 – Budget Process Update - Penultimate bullet point should refer to the impact on internal control if service was redesigned.
Page 16 – Internal Audit Charter and Strategy 2023-24 – The Chair confirmed it had been the Chief Executive of Denbighshire County Council who had requested further meetings with the Chair of Governance and Audit Committee.
Matters Arising -
Page 8 – Minutes – The Chair informed members he had attended the Performance Scrutiny meeting in July. He stated he verbally made known the committees concerns about the impact of recruitment and retention. In his opinion there was nothing within the report which showed the concerns raised by Governance and Audit Committee. The concerns around Social Services and Children’s Services including the wider impact of recruitment and retention difficulties in other services was raised during the discussion. The Monitoring Officer confirmed he had been at the Performance Scrutiny meeting in July. The Performance Scrutiny Committee resolved to receive a further update report next year which would include representation form services that were experiencing the most difficulty in recruitment and retention.
Page 8 – Minutes -Statement of Accounts – The Head of Finance stated the 2021/22 accounts were close to being signed off by Audit Wales. It was on track to be presented at the September Governance and Audit Committee. The 2022/23 draft accounts had started well and the draft accounts were near approval. It was hoped the draft accounts could be released to Audit Wales by the end of July 2023.
The Audit Wales representative Mike Whiteley confirmed the 2021/22 accounts was nearing completion. The draft 2022/23 accounts were expected. Initially in the forward work programme reflected the accounts to be presented to the Governance and Audit Committee in January 2024. All councils had been allocated into one of two tranches, Denbighshire County Council was in tranche 2 which meant a deadline of March 2024 for completion of Audit of the draft accounts.
Members agreed for the closedown of the Statement of Accounts be included in the forward work programme for the March 2024 Committee meeting.
Page 10 - Council Performance Self-Assessment 2022 to 2023 – Lay Member Nigel Rudd asked if feedback could be made available to members on the measure of success of each Leader Members on each theme was going to be reported in consultation with officers. He suggested a report be circulated outside of the meeting to members. Members heard the report had been presented to County Council and was approved.
Page 18 – Estyn Letter – Councillor Mark Young was pleased to report that Denbigh High School was out of special measures. He offered his thanks and support to the staff for the hard work that had been put into moving the school forward.
Page 16 – Internal Audit Charter & Strategy 2023/24 – The Chair stated he met with the Chief Internal Auditor. It had been suggested subject to resources to review the report for a smarter way of reporting to committee. The Chief Internal Auditor said he would contact neighbouring authorities asking to view their reports to look at a way of condensing the papers. Lay Member Nigel Rudd asked if there was a way of changing the guidance or rules on this reporting to streamline the report. The Chief Internal Auditor stated he would raise it with the other Chief Internal Auditors across Wales to gain feedback and opinions.
The Monitoring Officer apologised to the Committee for the delay in presenting the Annual Whistleblowing Report and Annual Governance and Audit Report. He apologised and confirmed it had been a capacity issue and confirmed both reports would be presented to the committee at the September Committee meeting.
RESOLVED, subject to the above that the minutes of the Governance and Audit committee held on 14 June 2023 be received and approved as a correct record.