OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

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					                  OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

                           CORPORATE SERVICES

                                       Meeting, 10th February, 2005
                                       at 2.00 p.m. (Committee Room No. 4)

                                AGENDA

      PART ONE

       1.   To note any items which the Chairman considers to be of an
            urgent nature.

       2.   To receive notice from Members who may wish to move any
            delegated matter non-delegated and which will be decided by a
            majority of Members present and voting at the meeting.

       3.   Admission of Public and Press

            To consider whether the public and press should be excluded
            from the meeting during consideration of any of the items on the
            agenda.

       4.   Disclosures of Interests and any declarations under Paragraph 16:
            Overview and Scrutiny Procedure Rules (Party Whip).

       5.   Apologies for Absence/Attendance of Substitutes.

       6.   Confirmation of Minutes of the meeting of the Overview and
            Scrutiny – Corporate Services held on 13th January, 2005 (copy
            attached).

       7.   Matters Arising.

(D)    8.   Update Report.

(D)    9.   Chairs Meeting.

(D)   10.   Asbestos in Allotments.

(D)   11.   Performance Summary.

      NOTE (D) - Delegated
             (R) - Referred
Members on Committee

Councillors

Jackson (Chairman)
Barlow (Vice-Chairman)
Dawes
Garside
McClure
Tongue
Wilson
                                                                            Part One

OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE –                                              (D)
Corporate Services                                                         Agenda
                                                                            Item
Date of Meeting:            10th February, 2005                               8
Reporting Officer:          Policy Review Officer

Title:        Update report
Summary and Conclusions:

Update this committee on the progress being made on other issues

Recommendation:

Note the progress being made



Report

Making A Difference Scheme

I have invited the Assistant Direct of Personnel and Performance to attend this
meeting to brief this committee on the progress being made with the Job
Evaluation process.
There were no new items collected from the MAD boxes in January so there is no
need for a pre meeting in advance of this committee meeting.

Procedures

There is a meeting with the internal Auditor scheduled for 18th February, I will
report back on this meeting to the March Committee

Legal Services

The meeting scheduled for 21st January with the Director of Finance to agree the
scope of this review was postponed and has been rescheduled for 14:00 hrs on
18th February 2005.
                                                                          Part One

OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE –                                            (D)
Corporate Services                                                       Agenda
                                                                          Item
Date of Meeting:           10th February, 2005                              9
Reporting Officer:         Policy Review Officer

Title:       Chairs Meeting

Summary and Conclusions:

To update the committee on the outputs from the Chairs meeting held on 21 st
January 2005.

Recommendation:

Review the proposals.


Report

The Role of Scrutiny

The Chairs were provided with excerpts from the Constitution indicating the role of
the Overview and Scrutiny committees and the expectation that each committee
will review one major policy issue during each municipal year.

Frequency of the Overview and Scrutiny committee meetings

The Chairs agreed that less frequent meetings would be of benefit to the Members
and to the Policy Review Officer. A modified arrangement whereby each committee
meets during a different week and on a two monthly cycle was proposed. The
Policy Review Officer agreed to discuss the practicalities of these arrangements
with the Principal Committee Administrator and report back at the next meeting.

Selection and evaluation of topics for review

The Chairs were concerned that the current work programmes were still unwieldy
due to the number of subjects being undertaken and proposed that a more
informed approach to the identification of subjects and a more rigorous evaluation
of those subjects would be beneficial.

The Chairs acknowledged that scrutiny should focus on key subjects that would
benefit the Borough and proposed that a meeting with the council’s Service
Managers may help to inform their work programme.
They also agreed that although the selection criteria that are currently used for
evaluating topics had led to some improvements it needed to be refined to give a
better distinction between key subjects and those of lesser significance. The Chairs
believe this is crucial to effective scrutiny and agreed to undertake this exercise.

Engaging members of the committees

The Chairs raised their concerns that fewer scrutiny subjects may result in some
Members becoming disengaged but proposed that the reviews could be structured
so that there were a number of workgroups reviewing different aspects of the main
subject and this would allow Members to take a more active role.

Performance Management

The Chairs agreed that Performance monitoring was a key role for the scrutiny
committees but that they require additional support in understanding how the
performance indicators relate to the services that are being delivered. The Policy
Review Officer agreed to provide additional support to help Members understand
the potential impact of continuing poor performance against Council Priorities.
                                                                            Part One

OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE –                                              (D)
Corporate Services                                                         Agenda
                                                                            Item
Date of Meeting:            10th February, 2005                               11
Reporting Officer:          Policy Review Officer

Title:        Performance Summary
Summary and Conclusions:

Provide this committee with the third quarter performance summary.

Recommendation:

Evaluate the performance data and identify areas that require closer scrutiny.



Report

The BVPI quartile data for 2003/04 has recently been published, for 19 of the 66
BVPI's there is no comparative data available, of the others Barrow Borough
Council were in the top quartile for 18 indicators, in the mid 50% for 19 indicators
and in the bottom quartile for 10 indicators.

The indicators relating to service that are within the remit of this committee are
detailed in the attached table. Indicators where we were bottom quartile or those
indicators where we are unlikely to meet our own targets in the current year are of
particular significance.
                                                                             Part One

OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE –                                               (D)
Corporate Services                                                          Agenda
                                                                             Item
Date of Meeting:            10th February, 2005                                10
Reporting Officer:          Policy Review Officer

Title:        Asbestos in allotments
Summary and Conclusions:

Provide this Committee with the current arrangements covering the removal of
asbestos from allotments

Recommendation: Decide whether further action needs to be taken



Report

This information is extracted from a pamphlet that will be distributed to all allotment
holders in the near future.

As an allotment holder you may find asbestos cement sheets on your allotment.
This information sheet will help you identify them and inform you how to deal with
them and how the Council will dispose of them.

How can I identify asbestos cement?

Asbestos cement sheets may be flat or corrugated. They are usually grey/white in
colour, hard and inflexible. They will be commonly found on allotments as follows:

   wall and roof panels of sheds and garages
   fencing panels to perimeter walls and composting areas
   gutters and rainwater pipes

Are asbestos cement sheets a risk to health?

There is no risk to health from asbestos cement in reasonable condition on your
allotment if they are not likely to be substantially disturbed. The asbestos fibres are
bonded into the cement so they cannot be released into the air and breathed in
unless the cement is substantially disturbed.

You will be at risk if you wire brush, sand, drill, saw, cut or otherwise damage
asbestos cement products.
What should I do if I find asbestos cement on my allotment?

If they are in good condition and they are not likely to be damaged it is perfectly
safe to leave them in place and ensure that they are not disturbed.

If they are in poor condition, you are concerned that they may become damaged or
you want the Council to dispose of the sheets you should contact the Garden and
Parks Department on 894744.

Can I dispose of asbestos cement sheets myself?

Yes, but asbestos products must never be disposed of by mixing with household or
other wastes.

Asbestos Cement can only be disposed of at a properly licensed site – the County
Council Civic Amenity site on Walney Road will accept approximately 4 asbestos
cement sheets per householder. The sheets should be wrapped carefully in
polythene before transporting them to the Civic Amenity site.

There will be a charge if you wish to dispose of more than 4 sheets. Please phone
CAW on 431212 for more information.

What precautions should I take when handling asbestos cement?

Treat the asbestos cement as carefully as possible – do not handle it roughly or
cut, break or saw it into pieces.

If you are dismantling a shed or garage, soak the panels in water before removing
them. Use bolt cutters or a small hacksaw to cut bolts or other fastenings rather
than cutting or breaking the asbestos cement sheet.

For extra protection you can use a disposable face mask approved for use with
asbestos.

Store the sheets in a safe place where they will not be disturbed until disposed.
OVERVIEW & SCRUTINY COMMITTEE –                                              (D)
Corporate Services                                                         Urgent
                                                                            Item
Date of Meeting:            10th February, 2005

Reporting Officer:          Policy Review Officer

Title:        Internal Audit Quarterly Report
Summary and Conclusions:

The following routine Quarterly Report from Internal Audit has been submitted as
an urgent item due to the timing of it’s completion.

Recommendation:

Note the Report



Report

It is anticipated that Keith Jackson from internal will attend this meeting to explain
the details of the report.
    NORTH WEST AUDIT




     BARROW BOROUGH COUNCIL

INTERNAL AUDIT QUARTERLY REPORT

        October to December

             2004/2005
CONTENTS                                                  Page



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY                                                12


1.   STATISTICAL SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS                      13


2.   ACCEPTED PRIORITY 1 RECOMMENDATIONS                         14


3.   REJECTED RECOMMENDATIONS                                    15


4.   INTERNAL AUDIT COVERAGE: OCT-DEC 2004                       16


5    CLASSIFICATIONS                                             19




Internal Audit Quarterly Report               Barrow Borough Council
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Purpose
The purpose of the report is to update the Council’s Management Team and Scrutiny
Committee on:
 Internal Audit work performed between 1 October and 31 December 2004, including
   final reports issued relating to a previous reporting period; and
 Significant issues that have arisen during this period as a result of our work.


Content
The information is presented in the following schedules:
1.     A Statistical Summary of Recommendations
       This schedule includes all audit recommendations to which Council management
       have responded in the quarter. The figures are analysed according to the ‘priority’
       of the recommendations, and the extent to which each has been accepted by
       management for action.
2.     Accepted Priority 1 Recommendations
       This schedule provides details of all major recommendations which have been
       accepted by management.
3.     Rejected Recommendations
       This schedule provides details of major and significant (i.e. Priority 2)
       recommendations, which have been rejected by Council Management.
4.     Audit Coverage
       Details of audit assignments carried out in the period, including any checks on
       external partner organisations.
5.     Classifications of Assurance and Recommendations
       An explanation of the classifications used for prioritising recommendations and
       assessing levels of assurance.




Internal Audit Quarterly Report                                        Barrow Borough Council
1.      STATISTICAL SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS
The following table summarises the number of audit recommendations we made in our
final reports between 1 October 2004 to 31 December 2004; analysed by their priority,
including whether accepted by management.


      Recommendations             Total   Priority 1   Priority 2          Priority 3
     Made                          29         0            10                  19
     Fully Accepted                25         0            9                   16
     Partly Accepted               1          0            0                    1
     Not Accepted                  3          0            1                    2




Internal Audit Quarterly Report                                     Barrow Borough Council
2.      ACCEPTED PRIORITY 1 RECOMMENDATIONS
There were no priority one recommendations made within the reporting period.




Internal Audit Quarterly Report                                     Barrow Borough Council
3.      REJECTED RECOMMENDATIONS

3.1     PRIORITY TWO RECOMMENDATIONS

There has been one rejected priority two recommendation during the reporting period.

 Audit Report              Fuel Poverty Grants

 Recommendation            The Council should ensure that a random sample check on a small
                           number of properties is performed to confirm that works carried out are
                           required and have been completed to a satisfactory standard.


 Rationale                 Prior to the current arrangements, Anchor Staying Put, as the
                           Council’s managing agent, carried out the initial survey to
                           identify works which were required for the Fuel Poverty Grant
                           Scheme. This information was then passed to the contractor
                           CosySeal, who complete the work specified.
                           The current procedure is for Cosyseal to carry out the initial
                           inspection, identify work required and carry out the work.
                           Ultimately, this means the contractor has full control over the
                           allocation of work.
                           With a ceiling of £500 in place before authorisation has to be
                           sought from the Council; there is the added risk that the
                           contractor could submit invoices just below the threshold to
                           eliminate any prior authorisation being required. Furthermore,
                           Council Officers do not carry out sample checks on works
                           proposed or completed.
                           Carrying out a physical sample check, on a small number of properties
                           would provide the Council with increased assurance over the
                           appropriate and justified allocation of HEAT Grants.

 Response                  As Anchor carry out retrospective checks an all applications I do not
                           see the need for an additional sample check to be carried out by
                           Borough Council staff.




Internal Audit Quarterly Report                                            Barrow Borough Council
 4.       INTERNAL AUDIT COVERAGE: OCT-DEC 2004

               Audit Assignment                      System         Status         Assurance
                                                   Significance
                                                      Band
FINANCIAL SYSTEMS AUDITS
Cash Reviews (inc. Receipt Book Checks)                 1          Ongoing              N/a
Leasing                                                 4            Draft         Substantial
Contract Standing         Orders   &   Financial
                                                        3          Ongoing            N/a
Regulations
Budgetary Control                                       3         Initial Draft   Substantial
Council Tax                                             1         Initial Draft   Substantial
National Non Domestic Rates                             1         Initial Draft   Substantial
Purchasing                                              3          Ongoing            N/a


SERVICE AUDITS
Dock Museum                                             3            Final         Substantial
Market Complex                                          4            Draft         Substantial
Forum 28                                                2          Ongoing              N/a


DEVELOPMENT DIVISION SYSTEMS
Car Park Meter Charges                                  3         Draft Final      Substantial
Fuel Poverty Grants                                     4           Final          Substantial
Development Control Fees                                4            Draft         Substantial
Commercial Waste Charges                                4            Draft         Substantial
Land Charges                                            4         Initial Draft    Substantial
Property Sales exc. Dwellings                           3          Ongoing             N/a
Environmental Health Fees                               3          Ongoing             N/a


HOUSING SYSTEMS
Void Management                                         3            Draft         Substantial


VFM REVIEWS/OTHER PROJECTS
Shell Fuel Cards                                       N/a           Draft         Substantial
Concessionary Travel                                   N/a           Draft         Substantial




 Internal Audit Quarterly Report                                        Barrow Borough Council
                Audit Assignment                         System         Status        Assurance
                                                       Significance
                                                          Band
CONTRACT AUDIT
Painting & Fabric Repairs Ormsgill Housing                 N/a          Draft             N/a
Estate
COMPUTER ENVIRONMENT AUDITS
Disaster Planning, Back up & Recovery                      N/a          Draft          Restricted
E Payments                                                 N/a          Draft          Restricted
PC Management – Implementation Review                      N/a        Complete            N/a
Controls for IEG – Implementation Review                   N/a        Complete            N/a


OTHER AUDIT WORK
National Fraud Initiative                                  N/a         Ongoing            N/a
Periodic Checks                                            N/a         Ongoing            N/a


AGREED ADDITIONAL WORK


External Funding Checks
Shoreline Films                                            N/a        Complete            N/a
Abbotsvale Community Centre                                N/a         Ongoing            N/a
Furness Enterprise                                         N/a         Ongoing            N/a
Barrow CRC                                                 N/a         Ongoing            N/a
Barrow CVS                                                 N/a         Ongoing            N/a
Project John                                               N/a         Ongoing            N/a


CONTINGENCY
(Previous year draft and final reports issued during
period)
Council Tax                                                 1           Final         Substantial
National Non-Domestic Rates                                 1           Final         Substantial
Budgetary Control                                           3         Draft Final     Substantial
Housing & Council Tax Benefits                              1           Final         Substantial
Park Leisure Centre                                         2         Draft Final     Substantial
Regeneration inc Forward Planning                           2           Draft         Restricted
Housing Rents                                               2           Final        Substantial


  Internal Audit Quarterly Report                                          Barrow Borough Council
               Audit Assignment                          System            Status        Assurance
                                                       Significance
                                                          Band
Payroll                                                      2             Draft         Substantial
Best Value                                                   1             Draft         Substantial
Revenues Contract Monitoring                                 1          Draft Final      Substantial
Building Cleaning                                            5          Draft Final      Substantial
Treasury Management                                          2          Draft Final      Substantial
Receipt Book Checks                                         N/a         Draft Final      Substantial
Information Security                                        N/a         Draft Final      Restricted




 Key to System Significance Band (Through Audit Needs Assessment calculations):

 Band 1                            Auditable areas attracting a significance score 41% and above.

 Band 2                            Auditable areas attracting a significance score of 31%-40%.

 Band 3                            Auditable areas attracting a significance score of 21% -30%.

 Band 4                            Auditable areas attracting a significance score of 11% -20%.

 Band 5                            Auditable areas attracting a significance score of 0% -10%.




 Internal Audit Quarterly Report                                              Barrow Borough Council
5 CLASSIFICATIONS

5.1 Classification of Assurance Levels

At the conclusion of each audit, we give an overall opinion on the level of assurance, which
we consider is provided by the controls in place within the system audited. The following
classification of assurance levels has been adopted:


Level                                    Definition
1.       Unqualified Assurance           The controls appear to be consistently applied.

2.        Substantial Assurance          Evidence was identified to suggest that the level of
                                         non-compliance with controls may put some of the
                                         system objectives at risk.

3.       Restricted Assurance            The level of non-compliance identified places the
                                         system objectives at risk.

4.       None                            Significant non-compliance with controls was
                                         identified leaving the system vulnerable to error and
                                         abuse.


The conclusions and assurance levels specified for each audit are used to support the
Council’s statement on Internal Financial Control, as required in the SORP – A Code of
Practice on Local Authority Accounting in UK 2002, which is authorised by the Director of
Finance.

5.2     Priority of Recommendations

Our audit recommendations are categorised by three priority levels: -

Priority 1       Major issues that we consider need to be brought to the attention of senior
                 management.

Priority 2       Important issues which should be addressed by management in their area of
                 responsibility.

Priority 3       Detailed issues of a relatively minor nature.




Internal Audit Quarterly Report                                           Barrow Borough Council

				
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