HAVERING SIXTH FORM COLLEGE
MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE
held on Tuesday 20th November 2012
at 6.05 p.m.
Present: Wendy Brice-~Thompson, Dan Martine, Ian Salisbury, Lillian Thomas,
Apologies: Maureen Smith
In attendance: Maria Jorysz Finance Director
David Andrews Assistant Principal, Planning and Performance
Lee Stokes Buzzacott
Graham Francis Director of I.T. Services
Roger Hawkins Clerk
Cathy Horne Assistant Clerk
In the Chair: Ian Salisbury
The Finance Director gave apologies for Dan Harris, RSM Tenon, who had been held up by
an accident on the M25.
A/12/37 Declarations of Interest
No declarations were made.
A/12/38 Minutes of the meeting held on 3rd July 2012
The minutes were approved.
A/12/39 Matters Arising
There were no matters arising.
A/12/40 Minutes of the meeting held on 16th July 2012
The minutes were approved.
A/12/41 Matters Arising
There were no matters arising.
A/12/42 Report on the testing of the IT Back-up System
Paper: Cover Page
The Director of IT Services reported that, as a consequence of the break-in during the
summer, the planned test had not taken place. Following this incident, the Disaster
Recovery Process had been invoked with the operation of a number of key areas,
including Finance, moving to Sovereign House, Romford. Several issues had been
identified including insufficient equipment for the number of systems needed. This had
now been resolved with the purchase of additional equipment.
He stated that the revised test date was now 25th January 2013. In response to
questioning from Members over the delay, he explained that this was the first date on
which Phoenix could support the testing. The Committee expressed its concern that the
testing had been postponed on several occasions. The Director of IT Services assured the
Committee that the test would be carried out on 25th January.
In response to a question, the Director of IT Services explained that the use of offsite
storage was too expensive. He added that the College was considering a reciprocal
arrangement with Havering and Barking Colleges for data storage.
The Committee RECEIVED the report and requested a further report at the next meeting. GJF
A/12/43 Implementation of Audit Recommendations – Progress Report
Paper: Register of Outstanding Audit Recommendations
The Finance Director reminded Members that the Audit Committee reviewed the status of
audit recommendations from the internal auditors, financial statements and regularity
auditors on a termly basis. There were no outstanding recommendations arising from the
Regularity Audit or the Financial Statements Audit. Progress with the following
recommendations was reviewed:
SLAs for IT Services – Graham Francis reported that the College had purchased
Hornbill to replace the Trackit/BMC Service Desk. In response to questioning by a GJF
Member, he explained that the current tracking system was old and ineffective. A
revised target date of December 2012 was AGREED.
performance indicators within the SLAs for IT Services – Graham Francis reported that
he had not been invited to attend Executive but that he reported regularly to the
Principal as part of his one-to-one management meetings. Following discussion, the
Chair of the Audit Committee was asked to write to the Principal requesting an Chair
invitation for the Director of IT Services to report to Executive.
compliance with the Data Protection Act, a further audit of publicly accessible rooms
had been carried out with very little documentation found on open view. The
Committee emphasised the importance of formal training for all staff and requested
that a training session to inform staff of their responsibilities under the Data Protection GJF
Act be carried out at the staff conference on 13th February 2013. Following a
discussion on how confidential documentation was disposed of, the Committee
requested management to ensure all staff were informed of the systems in place
regarding ‘shredding’. The Assistant Principal, Planning and Performance, was asked
to add compliance with the Data Protection Act to the Risk Register. The Committee
AGREED that this item should be removed from the register.
current personal information for all staff –the MIS team was developing the facility on Exec
the new HR system for individuals to update their own data on an interactive page. A
revised target date of July 2013 had been set.
the Risk Register – the register is updated on a rolling basis. The reduced number of DGA
Strategic Objectives approved by the Corporation in July necessitated a major
review of the cross-referencing of the risks and a target date of March 2013 had been
set. The full Risk Register was available at the Audit Committee for inspection by
the addition of staff wellbeing to the Risk Register – the Assistant Principal, Planning
and Performance, reported that staff absence data related to stress had been
reviewed by the Risk Management Group and had been added to the Risk Register.
One Member pointed out that stress was not only reflected in absence data as some DGA
staff who were significantly affected by stress, would not take time off. . . Having
been informed that there was currently no Stress Management Policy in place,
Members suggested that a Policy should form part of the solution. The Assistant
Principal AGREED to circulate the relevant section of the Risk Register to all Members
of the Committee. The Committee AGREED that this item should be removed from
IT Policy – The Acceptable Use Policy had been circulated to all staff by email on 27 th
June 2012 with a request that they acknowledge receipt. To date 58 out of 297 staff
had responded. The Director of IT Services confirmed that this now formed part of the
staff induction process. The Committee emphasised the importance of ensuring all DGA
staff sign to say they have read the Policy. The Committee requested Graham Francis
to include this in the staff conference in February and to ensure all staff are followed
up. The Committee AGREED that this item should be removed from the list.
Network Logical Access Controls – MIS had advised that the password was
‘hardwired’ and could not be changed. The Committee AGREED that this was very GJF
low risk and should therefore be removed from the list.
remote access to the VPN, the Director of IT Services reported that staff wishing to use
the VPN were now required to complete an Access Request Form. The password
would be changed periodically. The Committee AGREED that this item should be
removed from the list.
Password Controls – The password policy would be amended and a prompt to
change password would happen at the beginning of each term commencing in
Administrator Access Controls – domain access rights were being rationalised. . A GJF
revised target date of December 2012 was agreed.
Audit Logging – reports were now retained and archived for future reference. The
Committee AGREED that this item should be removed from the list.
6.45 Wendy Brice-Thompson left the meeting.
Physical Security Controls the external door to S1 had now been replaced and. all
windows in S1 had been secured with metal blinds. The Committee AGREED that this
item should be removed from the list.
Uninterruptible Power Supply – the Director of IT Services reported that the system was
working but was not at full capacity. An additional 2 UPS devices would be
purchased and a revised target date of November 2012 was agreed. GJF
Business Impact Assessment - the Director of IT Services confirmed that the trial would
take place in January. He added that data retention on tape allowed for the
recovery of data to a month or week end. A revised target date of January 2013 was GJF
Back-up Strategy – the Director of IT Services confirmed that weekly backups were
taken and stored offsite. The Committee AGREED that this item should be removed
from the list.
The Restoration of Back-ups testing –this related to the previous two
recommendations. A revised target date of January 2013 was agreed.
Funding Guidance – the responsibility for the review of funding body guidance had
been assigned to Paul Nutter. The Committee requested the Finance Director to MTJ
confirm whether he was also the accountable person and report back to the next
meeting of the Committee as a matter arising. The Committee AGREED that this item
should be removed from the list.
Student Withdrawal forms – the two leaver forms currently in use had not yet been
combined and a revised target date of January 2013 was agreed.
the timely submission of student withdrawal forms – relevant actions had been
implemented. The Committee AGREED that this item should be removed from the list.
The recommendation regarding change of course forms had been completed and
the Committee AGREED that this should be removed from the list.
Health and safety fire posters – these were now displayed. An additional poster
would be located in the main entrance once the new alarm system had been MTJ
installed. The Committee AGREED that this should be removed from the list.
The Committee RECEIVED the report.
6.50 pm Graham Francis left the meeting.
A/12/44 Internal Audit Service Annual Report for 2011/12
Paper: Annual Internal Audit Report for 2011/12
Presenting the report on behalf of RSM Tenon, in the absence of Dan Harris, the Finance
Director reminded Members that the report summarised the findings from the audit work
carried out during the year, 20111-12. Members were informed that Governance, Risk
Management and Finance had all received substantial assurance (green), whilst Learner
Records had received a reasonable assurance (amber/ green ) and the IT Review had
received some assurance (amber/red ). Overall the report provided an unqualified
The Committee expressed their concern that, the auditors were still raising concerns in
relationsome recommendations raised in to the IT review had not yet been resolved.. In
particular, the back-up test had been delayed for nearly two years. The Committee Chair
requested that the Chair write to the Principal raising the Committee’s concerns and the
The Clerk informed Members that the table on page 3 only related to the specific audit
relating to follow-up recommendations from 2010/11, that were not covered by the
other audit work
The Committee RECEIVED the report.
6.55 pm Lillian Thomas left the meeting.
A/12/45 Internal Audit Service Plan 2012/13
Paper: Updated Strategy for Internal Audit 2010/11 – 2012/13
The Finance Director reminded Members that the Audit Committee had recommended
to the Corporation that it should continue with the full internal audit service despite the
relaxation in the requirements for sixth form colleges. The plan for the current year,
shown on pages 7 and 8 of the report, detailed four main areas: the student journey (4
days), learner numbers (7 days), risk management and governance (4 days) and key
financial controls (3 days). Visits to the College were planned for January and March
The Assistant Principal, Planning and Performance, pointed out that a major review of
the risk management process had been carried out two years previously, with several
recommendations made and questioned whether it was cost effective to repeat the
process. In response to questioning from the Clerk, Lee Stokes of Buzzacott confirmed
that a review was required for audit assurance but that it was not necessary to do this
yearly if there were no changes. The Finance Director commented that risk
management had been considered yearly in the past as it was considered to be RMH
fundamentally important. The Clerk AGREED to find out if there were any regulatory
requirements for the review of risk management. In addition, the Clerk commented that
the audit of governance was unlikely to require two days.
Following discussion, the Committee AGREED to reduce the number of days for risk MTJ
management and governance to one each and include two days for Equality and
Diversity. The Finance Director was asked to inform RSM Tenon.
RESOLVED: The Committee APPROVED the Internal Audit Service Plan for 2012/13 subject
to the reduction in days from 4 to 2 on risk management and governance and the
introduction of 2 days on equality and diversity.
A/12/46 Draft Financial Statements and Regularity Audit Reports for the year ended 31 July 2012
and Post-Audit Management Letters
Paper: Draft Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2012; Post-audit
management letters for the financial statements audit and the regularity audit
Introducing his report, Lee Stokes of Buzzacott informed Members that the financial
statements and regulatory audit reports both contained unqualified opinions. He
explained that the post-audit management letters summarised the key issues arising from
the audits and confirmed that no formal recommendations had been made.
Referring Members to page 2 of the Financial Statements post-audit letter, he
commented that the College had achieved a surplus of £834,000 against a budgeted
surplus of £423,000. Total income had decreased by £48,000 from 2010/11 largely due to
a decrease in EFA funding and a reduction in diploma support grants. Total expenditure
had also decreased, mainly due to a reduction in the number of full time equivalent staff
numbers. Fixed assets had increased by £709,000 to £12,344,000 due to the
enhancement of the premises.
The pension liability had increased substantially from £626,000 at 31 July 2011 to
£1,192,000 at 31 July 2012 mainly due to an actuarial loss of £538,000. The Finance
Director commented that the Governors had approved the actuarial pension
Referring to Appendix 1 - Ratio Analysis, one Member queried the type of activities other
colleges used to generate additional income. Lee Stokes responded that some colleges
hired out buildings, attracted more paying students or generated income through
catering. The Finance Director commented that the amount of income generated was
not necessarily significant and that this was not currently on anyone’s agenda within the
College. She added that the Music School letting was no longer operating at a loss.
Appendix 2, relating to recent developments in the Further Education sector, confirmed
that the FE/HE Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) was being amended to
take account of the International Financial Reporting Standards. A draft SORP
document was anticipated in spring 2013 but no major changes were anticipated
In response to a question from the Clerk, Lee Stokes confirmed that the Joint Audit Code
of Practice Part 1 was still in draft form and Part 2 had not yet been produced.
The Committee RECEIVED the report.
A/12/47 Letter of Representation in respect of the Financial Statements
Paper: Letter of representation relating to the audit of the financial statements and the
Lee Stokes reminded Members that the letter of representation was a statement from the
Corporation to the Financial Statements and Regularity Auditors giving assurance on all
aspects of the College’s operations covered by the audit. It was a standard letter
drafted by Buzzacott with no changes from the previous year. The Finance Director
reminded Members that they had requested the letter be signed by the Principal prior to
it coming to the Committee. She was asked to amend the date on the letter. MTJ
Recommendation: The Corporation should APPROVE the letter of representation and
request the Chair of the Corporation to sign the letter on its behalf.
7.38 pm Lee Stokes left the meeting
A/12/48 Financial Statements Auditor’s Performance Review
Confidential Paper: Performance Review for the Financial Statements and Regularity
Auditors for 2011/12
The Finance Director reminded Members that this was the fourth year of Buzzacott acting
as auditor for the College and that no recommendations had arisen from either the
Financial Statements or Regularity Audits. She added that communication was timely
and helpful and that the audits were completed efficiently and in accordance with the
plan. The staff assigned to the visits were knowledgeable and experienced.
7.43 pm Lee Stokes rejoined the meeting.
The Chair thanked Lee Stokes for his company’s work during 2011/12 and the Finance
Director confirmed that she would email a copy of the Performance Indicators to him. MTJ
7.45 pm Lee Stokes left the meeting.
A/12/49 Review of Capital Projects Procedure
Paper: Draft updated Procedures for Capital Projects
Introducing her report, the Finance Director explained that the Procedure for Capital
Projects was due for review under the Corporations policy review cycle. The Procedure
had been updated to take account of changes in the funding-body regime and the
restructuring of the Corporation.
The Finance Director proposed increasing the current threshold of £250,000, to which the
procedure applied, to projects in excess of £500,000. She was proposing the increase in
the light of experience with a number of large premises-related projects and significant IT
projects over the prior two years.
Members noted that capital projects undertaken on the strength of capital grant
funding were subject to Corporation monitoring as a part of their grant conditions. All
other projects would be monitored to the Corporation through the management
accounts but were not reported separately.
Members were asked to consider whether the Corporation required a separate account
for each project and what level of detailed monitoring was required. Members
commented that the lack of a Finance Committee could result in insufficient financial
scrutiny. In response to questioning regarding risk, the Finance Director confirmed that
the procedure for tendering was in place and that a contingency was built in for each
project, resulting in low risk as long as the procedure was followed. Following discussion,
the Finance Director was asked to keep the threshold at £250,000 and to include a line
for each project in the management accounts.
RESOLVED: The Committee APPROVED the revised Capital Projects Procedure for a
period of four years subject to the threshold being £250,000.
A/12/50 Risk Management Progress Report
Paper: Risk Management Action Plan and Report to the Audit Committee
The Assistant Principal, Planning and Performance, reported that security and workload
impact on health were now included. Retention, student numbers and funding were all
closely linked and the major risk was now low pass rates due to a higher proportion of
borderline students in the current year’s intake.
One Governor expressed concern that of student numbers were not known until the
beginning of the autumn term and that greater certainty could be obtained through
students being asked to indicate whether the college was their first choice and that
information gained from interviews, fresher’s week and application forms could be used
to inform staff of likely student numbers. This would alleviate the concerns of both staff
and Governors as well as allow better planning of classes. The Assistant Principal
explained that, currently, historical conversion rates were used but that the changing
environment had made it difficult to make accurate predictions. He added that based
on conversion rate assumptions this year’s actual intake had been within 30 students of
the target number.
Members commented that at the previous evenings’ Corporation meeting, one DGA
Member had raised the risk of poor results affecting the reputation of the College. The
Assistant Principal was asked to add the risk of loss of reputation arising from poor
student performance to the Risk Register.
The Chair of the Committee requested the Assistant Principal to include a risk relating to
the storage of confidential information and to report back on how staff can dispose of
confidential waste securely.
The Committee RECEIVED the report.
8.05 pm David Andrews left the meeting
A/12/51 Audit Committee’s Annual Report for 2011-12
Paper: Annual Report of the Audit Committee for 2011-12
Introducing his report, the Clerk reminded Members that the annual report advised the
Corporation of the adequacy and effectiveness of the College’s internal control and its
arrangements for risk management, control and governance processes and to
summarise the findings of the Financial Statements and Regularity Auditor.
He confirmed that the number of recommendations from the Internal Audit Service
provided by RSM Tenon for the year 2011-12 was 20 with no high level
recommendations. The Financial Statements and Regularity Audit Service provided by
Buzzacott had given no formal recommendations and both auditors had given
unqualified opinions for 2011-12.
The Committee requested the Clerk to include a comment relating to the amber/red
opinion on IT Services and that a letter had been sent to the Principal on behalf of the
Committee. The Clerk AGREED to make the amendment and circulate the revised RMH
report to all Members of the Committee by email prior to presentation to the
Recommendation: The Corporation should RECEIVE the annual report of the Audit
Committee for 2011-12.
A/12/52 Guidance on the implications following the rationalisation of Audit arrangements
Papers: a report summarising the issues identified in the guidance note; the guidance
The Clerk informed Members that the Education Funding Agency and the Sixth Form
Colleges’ Forum had published a guidance note identifying issues and making
recommendations for Audit Committees to consider. These related to the implications
of the changes to the SFC regulatory framework implemented through the Education
Act 2011 which were less prescriptive. The Audit Committee would be tasked with
making recommendations to the Corporation as to its assurance framework.
The Clerk proposed considering in the spring term when the terms of reference of
Committees were reviewed. . The Chair again expressed his concern at the lack of a
Finance Committee and the level of scrutiny which it had provided. The Clerk
suggested that the internal auditors could consider as part of its governance audit
whether the new structure allowed sufficient scrutiny and monitoring of finance.
The Committee RECEIVED the report.
A/12/53 Evaluation of Meeting
Paper: Evaluation of Corporation Meetings
1. In accordance with Instrument of Government 12 (2), were written notice of the meeting and a
copy of the agenda sent to you at least seven clear days in advance of the meeting? YES
2. Were the agenda papers written with clarity? YES
3. Was sufficient time available for thorough debate? YES
4. Was too much time spent debating a particular issue? NO
5. Were you satisfied that the decisions arrived at were sound? YES
6. Were you encouraged to express your views openly? YES
7. Were the minutes and recommendations of the Committee clear? YES
No additional comments were made.
1. Advise the Corporation on the adequacy and effectiveness of internal control systems and
the arrangements for risk management control and governance processes and securing
value for money.
2. Approve on behalf of the Corporation the appointment, dismissal and remuneration of the
3. Secure effective co-ordination of IAS and Financial Statements Auditor.
4. Approve on behalf of the Corporation the Audit Strategy and the Annual Internal, Financial
Statements and Regularity Audit Plans.
5. Approve on behalf of the Corporation those policies and procedures which have been
delegated for approval by the Committee.
6. Advise the Corporation on Audit reports and control issues identified and management
responses to these.
7. Monitor implementation of agreed recommendations relating to audit reports and auditors’
8. Establish annual PIs and monitor the effectiveness of the Auditors.
9. Produce an annual report for the Corporation.
10. Ensure allegations of fraud and irregularity are followed up.
With the exception of items 2 and 10, all of the above functions were discussed and fulfilled
A/12/54 Date of Next Meeting
Tuesday 12th March at 6.00 pm.
The meeting ended at 8.25 p.m.
CLH 22nd November 2012