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NOTE OF THE PRIVY COUNCIL OFFICES AUDIT & RISK COMMITTEE

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NOTE OF THE PRIVY COUNCIL OFFICES AUDIT & RISK COMMITTEE Powered By Docstoc
					   MINUTES OF THE PRIVY COUNCIL OFFICE AUDIT AND RISK COMMITTEE
           2 CARLTON GARDENS, MONDAY 4th OCTOBER 2004

Present:                   Lindsay Kennedy (Chair)
                           John Watherston JC/PCO
                           Glynne Jones PCO
                           Sue Ball PCO
                           Amanda McFeeters (ODPM, external member)

In Attendance:             Alex Galloway - PCO
                           Graham Donald - PCO
                           Phil Walker – Cabinet Office Internal Audit
                           Heather Clifton - Cabinet Office Internal Audit
                           Brian Batchelor – National Audit Office
                           Ceri King - PCO

Apologies:
                            Lesley Johns – National Audit Office


Welcome and introduction
  1. Lindsay Kennedy welcomed Sue Ball, (Private Secretary to Baroness Amos) to
  her first Audit and Risk Committee (ARC) meeting.

   Minutes of the last meeting
   2. The minutes of the last meeting were agreed.

   Closure of 2002/03 Resource Accounts
   3. Brian Batchelor provided feedback on this year’s closure of the PCO accounts.
      The whole process had gone extremely well and there was marked
      improvement in the closure process. The accounts had been signed a week
      ahead of schedule. The Comptroller and Auditor General signed his statement
      of 29th September and the Accounts will be laid before Parliament on 14th
      October. The Committee recorded its congratulations to all involved in the
      process.

   Internal Audit Feedback
   4. It was agreed that, in future years, Internal Audit Service’s (IAS) overall opinion
      from the IAS Annual Report would be included in the Statement of Internal
      Control (which this year was limited assurance based on the fact that some
      actions had not yet been completed). The Committee noted that excellent
      progress was being made with the implementation of the JC Financial Audit
      recommendations. The Committee also noted progress to date with the current
      Health and Safety Audit.

   5. Internal Audit (IA) confirmed that the next Audit would be on Performance
      Management within the PCO. This would begin in October. Suggestions for
      future Audits were discussed and it was agreed that the Management Board
      would take a decision on the subject for the third and final scheduled audit for
      2004-05.
6. The Committee recorded its congratulations and thanks to Heather Clifton for all
   her work with the PCO and the ARC. Heather will be leaving IA at the end of the
   year and Steve Collins was likely to be Heather’s replacement as PCO Account
   Manager.

Report back on Risk Workshop
7. Glynne Jones and IA gave a report on the recent risk workshop. The feedback
   from staff had been extremely positive and it was recommended that a similar
   exercise should be carried out for each management unit. It was agreed that
   Corporate Services and the Judicial Committee would undertake a risk
   workshop before the next ARC meeting (January).

Audit Committee Checklist
8. The NAO had produced a checklist, from eight separate leaflets, which provided
“easy to answer questions that would produce a 'gold-plated' ARC”. Lindsay
Kennedy and Phil Walker had examined the checklist and believed that the
Committee met most of the criteria, but raised two issues
       • an annual review of the ARC should take place to examine whether the
          Committee was performing effectively. It was agreed to this would be
          done at the January ARC.
       • Internal Audit and NAO should liase more frequently, to ensure that IAS
          is focussing on the right issues. By working together to look at systems,
          the information passed to the ARC will be enhanced. This would help the
          PCO to meet its “faster closing” targets.

Risk Management Strategy
9. The Committee agreed the PCO Risk Management Strategy. This will now be
   circulated to staff.

Draft Hospitality Policy
10. The Committee agreed the draft Hospitality Policy. This will now be circulated
    to staff.

Risk Matrix
11. It was agreed that the Risk Matrix should be updated to include, under ICT,
    “inadequacy and deterioration of service”, in addition to loss of service, as a key
    risk for PCO. The form should be redesigned to allow changes to be tracked.
    The Matrix would be reviewed again in the light of Unit’s risk management
    workshops.

Any Other Business
FOI Oral Update
12. Graham Donald provided an oral update with progress on the PCO’s state of
    preparedness for Freedom of Information implementation. Training had been
    rolled out across the Department and procedures for tracking requests were
    being pulled together. Issues around fees and charges remained unresolved,
    pending advice form the DCA.

Internal Audit Service provision
  13. On 1st October, Cabinet Office’s Internal Audit Services merged with the Office
     of the Deputy Prime Minister’s (ODPM) IAS. Steve Simmonds (ODPM) has
     been appointed as Director of Internal Audit. It was agreed that Philip Walker
     and his team would continue to provide Internal Audit services to the PCO. The
     Committee also agreed to invite Steve Simmonds to the next ARC meeting
     (January 05).

  PCO Management Accounts
  14. It was agreed that the PCO Management Accounts would also be sent to
      Amanda McFeeters each month, for information. Amanda would have a slot at
      each ARC meeting, should she wish to raise any issues or concerns with the
      accounts.


October 2004

				
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