Venue: Mandela Room
Contact: Susan Lightwing
Welcome and Evacuation Procedure
The Chair welcomed all present to the meeting and read out the Building Evacuation Procedure.
Declarations of Interest
any declarations of interest.
no declarations of interest received at this point in the meeting.
The minutes of the Corporate Affairs meeting held on 29 June 2023 were submitted and approved as a correct record.
A report of the Head of Internal
Audit was presented to provide Members with a summary
of internal audit work undertaken in 2022/2023 and to provide an opinion on the
overall adequacy and effectiveness of the Council’s framework of governance,
risk management and internal control and to provide a summary of counter fraud
activity during the year.
A copy of the Annual Internal
Audit Report was attached at Appendix 1 to the submitted report. It included a
summary of the work completed during the year, findings from recently issued
audit reports, and the annual internal audit opinion. The draft report on Children’s
Commissioning and Contract Management had been finalised since the submitted
report was written.
Appendix D to the submitted
report listed Priority 1 and 2 actions that had remained outstanding for more
than six months.
The report also included details
of Veritau’s Quality Assurance and Improvement Programme (QAIP). This outlined
Veritau’s ongoing quality assurance arrangements and activities, and provided
evidence to demonstrate that internal audit work had been carried
out the expected professional standards.
The overall opinion of the Head
of Internal Audit on the framework of
governance, risk management and control operating at the Council was
that it provided Limited Assurance. No
reliance was placed on the work of other
assurance providers in reaching
The Committee’s attention was drawn to the significant control weaknesses which were
considered relevant to the preparation of the 2022/23 Annual Governance
Veritau also provided a counter
fraud service to the Council. An annual
report setting out counter fraud activity and performance was
attached at Appendix 2 to the submitted report. A refreshed strategy action plan would be presented to the Committee later this year.
In response to a query regarding
the internal audit report on the Middlesbrough Development Company (MDC), the
final draft had been issued and it was anticipated
that the report would be finalised within the next week and would be shared
with the Committee. The decision to wind
up the MDC was taken by Officers and a number of
factors had been taken into account.
However, the decision was not made directly as a
result of the internal audit work undertaken. Veritau conducted a review against CIPFA’s
framework and did not offer an opinion on whether or not
the company should be wound up.
Concern was raised in relation to the Committee noting the report without seeing Veritau’s judgement and the background to the MDC report. The Internal Auditor commented that even without the MDC report Veritau would give an opinion of limited assurance. This was the Veritau’s view of the framework last year and nothing would change that opinion. Veritau had not seen the improvements in a number of areas that would enable them to change that opinion. The opinion would also feed into the Annual Governance Statement which was being prepared and had not yet been signed off and therefore there was still time to understand and reflect on the ... view the full minutes text for item 23/11
Any other urgent items which in the opinion of the Chair, may be considered