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Overview and Scrunity Minutes - 19th June 2007

TORRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL

OVERVIEW AND SCRUTINY COMMITTEE

Town Hall, Bideford

19th 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 and
A J Symons.

ALSO PRESENT: G Cooper and M Smith

An apology for absence was received from Councillor R M M Tisdale

4.

UPDATE - STATEMENT ON INTERNAL CONTROL (SonIC)

The Committee had circulated to them the following paperwork for consideration in connection with the SonIC:-

(a) Answers to questions raised by the three Working Groups formed at the Meeting
held on the 14th June 2007 to examine the SonIC evidence.

(b) The draft SonIC Action Plan.

(c) The draft SonIC for 2006/2007.

With regard to the questions raised by the Working Groups, and in response to Members further questions the Head of Environmental Health and Public Protection provided additional information in respect of the CAPS system.

The Audit Manager also responded to questions raised by Councillor Mrs Church, who had been examining Audit Reports. These questions related to Council Tax Deductions from staff salaries; the number of weekly paid staff; and management update arrangements. Members noted that the additional questions raised by Councillor Church were addressed within the reports still to be considered by the Committee.

The Committee then received the draft SonIC Action Plan, and each Action/Question Number was considered. Update was provided by the Officers, and Members' questions were answered. It was noted that the updated Action Plan would form part of the SonIC report to be submitted to the Policy, Performance and Resources Committee on the 29th June 2007.

The Committee then turned their attention to the Draft SonIC for 2006/2007 .The Chairman drew attention to Paragraph 5 of the Statement which detailed internal control issues currently being addressed, or to be addressed during 2007/2008, which covered all the main issues.

In view of the fact that it was proposed to submit the amended SonIC Action Plan to the Policy, Performance and Resources Committee scheduled to meet on the 29th June 2007, Councillor Symons asked that consideration be given to Paragraph 5 of the SonIC being amended to include reference to the Action/Question Numbers included in the Action Plan in order that the two documents were linked.

Resolved: That the Draft SonIC be approved for submission to the Policy, Performance and Resources Committee, subject to Paragraph 5 being amended to include reference to the Action/Question Numbers included in the Action Plan in order that the two documents are linked.

(Vote: 9 For, 0 Against)

The Committee concluded by having a general discussion, which included their future work programme and workload, and co-ordination of meetings bearing in mind the possible establishment of working groups. It was recognised that these issues would form part of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee training programme to be held on the 4th July 2007.

The Audit Manager advised that in future Audit Reports would be submitted direct to Policy, Performance and Resources Committee, but that she would ensure that Members of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee also received such documentation.

The Chairman also advised that expressions of interest had already been received from four of the previous Independent Members to serve on the Overview and Scrutiny Committee. It was noted that there were three available seats. In the interests of fairness arrangements were being made to advertise these vacancies in local newspapers with a view to the Chief Executive, Chairman and Leader conducting the necessary interviews in accordance with the Council's Constitution.

The meeting commenced at 10.00 a.m. and ended at 11.50 a.m.