Agenda and minutes

Standards and Governance Committee
Wednesday, 4th September, 2019 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Room 1

Contact: Lisa Young  5340

Items
No. Item

16.

Apologies for non-attendance

Minutes:

An apology for non attendance was received from Councillor Mrs Prickett

17.

Declarations of interest

All Members are required to disclose, at this point in the meeting or as soon as possible thereafter, any disclosable pecuniary interest or personal interest in any item (s) being considered at this meeting.

Minutes:

There were none.

18.

Minutes of previous meeting pdf icon PDF 51 KB

To approve as a correct record the Minutes of the Committee meeting held on 27 June 2019.

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on the 27 June 2019 be signed as a true and correct record.

19.

Deputations - Standing Order 3.4

NOTE: The Committee is required to receive a deputation(s) on a matter which is before the meeting of the Committee provided that notice of the intended deputation and its object shall have been received by the Borough Solicitor by 12 noon on Monday 2 September 2019.  The total time for deputations in favour and against a proposal shall not exceed 10 minutes).

Minutes:

There were none.

20.

Public Questions - Standing Order 3.5

(NOTE: The Committee is required to allow a total of 15 minutes for questions from Members of the public on matters within the terms of reference of the Committee provided that notice of such Question(s) shall have been submitted to the Borough Solicitor by 12 noon on Monday, 2 September 2019)

 

Minutes:

There were none.

21.

Members auto-redirect of emails pdf icon PDF 62 KB

To recommend an alternate means of accessing members email.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Head of IT detailing proposals for the removal of the auto forward function on Councillors emails.

 

The Head of IT advised that in response to recent issues with non-receipt of Councillor Emails investigations had been undertaken into the 22 non receipts and 16 had been caused by auto forward issues

 

The Committee was advised that the issue was as a result of external email providers spam prevention filters that were stopping emails that were autofowarded arriving as they were being processed from two email addresses.

 

Members were advised that this was an external issue and that it was not able to be addressed by Gosport Borough Council and that as a result it was proposed that the auto forward function be switched off and that Councillors would need to access their Gosport Borough Council emails by logging on to OWA.

 

Members expressed frustration that the system did not work but did not feel that switching off the auto forward function would be helpful.

 

Members questioned whether GBC emails were required and were advised that some external agencies required the use of an official email address to consider sensitive information.

 

Members reiterated that they did not wish to see the auto forward function removed and hoped that in future a way to ensure that all emails were forwarded could be established.

 

It was requested that investigations be made into how other Councils managed the issue and whether there was any obligation for Councillors to have a Gosport Borough Council email address.

 

The Committee was advised that some Council’s had completely removed the use of external emails, citing the Data Protection Act.

 

It was requested that a more modern email system be investigated that would potentially remove the current issues with email.

 

A Member raised that they felt that the current website was not fit for purpose and required overhauling. The Committee was advised that there was currently working being undertaken on digital transformation, including the website and that this could be reported to a future Committee.

 

RESOLVED: That the Council investigate the legislative requirements of Councillors having Gosport Borough Council email address and that investigations be made into alternative email suppliers to address the current issues. 

 

 

 

 

22.

Internal Audit Monitoring Statement from 1st April 2019 - 22nd August 2019 pdf icon PDF 103 KB

To table the performance of the Internal Audit Section for 2019/20 (1st April 2019 – 22nd August 2019) against the agreed audit plan (April 2019) to the Members with responsibility for governance.

 

To present an update on the action plan relating to the March 2019 Public Sector Internal Audit Standards Assessment.

 

To present the Audit Charter, Code of Ethics and Strategy 2019 to the committee for approval

 

To present the Internal Audit Quality Assurance and Improvement Programme to the committee

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a report of the Acting Head of Internal Audit detailing  the performance of the Internal Audit Section for 2019/20 (1st April 2019 – 22nd August 2019) against the agreed audit plan (April 2019, to present an update on the action plan relating to the March 2019 Public Sector Internal Audit Standards Assessment. To present the Audit Charter, Code of Ethics and Strategy 2019 to the committee for approval and to present the Internal Audit Quality Assurance and Improvement Programme to the committee

 

Members were update of 2 typographical amendments to Appendix b.

 

The Committee was advised that a Senior Auditor had now been recruited and was in post and that this would support additional progress of the Audit plan.


The Committee was advised that the audits that were being undertaken were being done so under the new risk based audit plan and ensured that work being undertaken was focussed and that there was confidence that the plan would be completed.

 

The Committee was advised that progress was being made on plan and that 83 % of recommendations for 2019/20 had been followed up, of the recommendations followed up, 38% were completed and of the 58% in progress, 35% were in relation to a service review relating to Rented Accommodation in the Private Sector.

 

The Committee was advised that the Internal Audit Service had been externally assessed in relation to the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards in March 2019 and that 79% of the 25 actions identified had been completed.

 

The Committee was advised that it was anticipated the Audit Manual would be complete by November 2019.

 

The Committee was advised that the Audit Strategy, Charter and Code of ethics was included and that the current arrangements had been in place for 1 year and that upon the resolution of the staffing situation, a longer term strategy could be in place.

 

In answer to a Member’s question, the Committee was advised that services were being provided to Test Valley District Council remotely and that recommendations marked essential and important were followed up and that it was hoped those recommendations outstanding would be completed imminently.

 

Members felt that the current arrangements had worked well within the limitations of what could be undertaken, commending the risk based approach.

 

The Committee was advised implementation of new training for new starters was working well.  

 

 

RESOLVED:

a.     That the Standards and Governance Committee note the performance of Internal Audit from 1st April 2019 – 4th September 2019.

b.     That the Standards and Governance Committee note the progress made against the Action Plan devised following the external Public Sector Internal Audit Standards Assessment in March 2019.

c.      That the Standards and Governance Committee agree the Audit Charter, Code of Ethics and Strategy 2019

d.     That the Standards and Governance Committee note the Internal Audit Quality Assurance and Improvement Programme

 

 

      

 

23.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT OMBUDSMAN: ANNUAL REVIEW 2019 pdf icon PDF 52 KB

To advise the Committee of the Annual Review Letter 2019 received from the Local Government Ombudsman.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

RESOLVED: That the report be noted.

24.

Any Other Items

Minutes:

An update was given on Members training, following the launch of the Portsmouth Learning Gateway to Members.

 

The Committee was advised that the training for Members was being investigated with new proposals due next year.

 

Members requested that specific training on conduct at meetings be included.