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Overview and Scrutiny Minutes - 14th June 2007

TORRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL

OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

Committee Room, Riverbank House, Bideford

14th June 2007

PRESENT: Councillor C J Leather (Chairman)
Councillor Mrs C B Church (Vice Chairman)
Councillors R Brown, D C Fulford, B J Lacey,
D M Lausen, Mrs F M Perkin, S Robinson,
A J Symons and R M M Tisdale.

ALSO PRESENT: Councillor P W Pennington

G. Cooper, R French, R Rumbold and M Smith.

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors L S Ford and R Johnson.

1.

WELCOME

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the first meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee following the May Elections. He referred to the presence of the four Independent Members who had served on the previous Overview and Scrutiny Committees, and advised that their names were going forward in the selection process for three members to serve on this Committee.

The Chairman also drew attention to the Committee's Terms of Reference which had been tabled at the meeting; the need to ensure the Attendance Book was initialled; the voting system and the use of the microphones; the Declarations of Interest and the position of the fire exits in the event of an emergency.

2.

MINUTES

Resolved: That the Minutes of the Meetings of the Overview and Scrutiny 1 Committee held on the 22nd March 2007 and the Overview and Scrutiny 2 Committee held on the 17th April 2007 be confirmed as a correct record and signed by the Chairman.

(Vote: 10 For, 0 Against)

3.

STATEMENT ON INTERNAL CONTROL (SonIC)

The Chairman confirmed that the purpose of the meeting was to consider the evidence on the Statement on Internal Control (SonIC), which fell under the remit of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. He advised that SonIC was an annual written statement setting out the results of a formal review of internal control and risk management arrangements, and was a statutory duty which had to be completed by the end of June each year. Members noted that the SonIC would subsequently be signed by the Chief Executive and Leader, and be published with the Council's financial statements.

It was noted that the SonIC would also be published on the Council's website. In response to a Member's question the Audit Manager agreed to check with IT as to whether it would be possible to determine how many hits there were on this particular site.

The Audit Manager then took the Committee through a presentation which provided a brief recap on SonIC, described a control and detailed how the evidence was to be reviewed. A copy of the presentation is attached to these Minutes as Appendix A.

The Audit Manager advised that it was proposed that three working groups would be formed to examine and review the following three forms of evidence:-

  • (a) - Electronic evidence in the SonIC database.
  • (b) - Heads of Service Assurance Statements
  • (c) - Internal Audit assurance file

The Committee then split into three working groups, and the meeting was adjourned for 45 minutes to allow for the necessary evidence to be reviewed.

The Committee reconvened at 6.15 p.m.

The Audit Manager confirmed that at the next meeting to be held on Tuesday, 19th June 2007 Members would be prioritising Action Plans being prepared by the Officers; reviewing the draft statement; examining additional evidence requested and identifying any other issues to be recommended to Policy, Performance and Resources Committee.

In response to a Member's question the Audit Manager confirmed that staff were given the opportunity to comment on Audit Reports.

The Members also had circulated to them examples of Statements on Internal Control prepared by other Authorities for 2005/2006.

The meeting concluded by Members thanking the staff concerned for all their hard work.

The meeting commenced at 5.00 p.m. and ended at 6.20 p.m.

Date .......................................... Chairman ....................................................