Agenda item

Audit and Governance Committee Terms of Reference


Ross Jago (Head of Governance, Performance and Risk) presented the Audit and Governance Committee Terms of Reference report. A working group had been convened to consider issues raised by committee members and the group had produced several recommendations for discussion by the committee.


Members discussed:



concerns that there may be duplication between scrutiny and the Audit and Governance Committee sub group and where it would be appropriate to raise certain issues regarding electoral issues/ street naming issues etc;



that recommendations from the sub group should go through the Audit and Governance Committee;



how the sub-committee membership was divided; it was confirmed that it was to be non-proportional;



where standards issues would be considered; it was confirmed that the sub-committee wouldn’t hear standards complaints, but would consider that the processes and procedures were adequate fair and appropriate;



how the output of the meeting was tracked; it was confirmed that a tracking decisions document would be included as a standing item on the agenda and reported back to the main committee. The minutes of the sub committee would also be submitted to the main Audit and Governance Committee.


The Audit and Governance Committee agreed:



That the Audit and Governance Committee move to a scheduled five meetings per year.


Reason: To ensure the required meeting time is available for members to adequately perform the core audit role.



That the Chair makes a report and on the activity of the Audit and Governance Committee to Cabinet on a half yearly basis and to Council on an annual basis.


Reason:  This recommendation seeks to increase the profile and influence of the Audit and Governance Committee by providing regular updates and recommendations to Cabinet and an Annual Report to Council in line with CIPFA best practice.



That when considering areas of strategic risk the Audit and Governance Committee make recommendations to other parts of the Council’s democratic governance structure.


Reason: This recommendation seeks to increase the profile of, and manage the committee’s workload, through closer working with other parts of the democratic governance structure.



That the committee adopt the CIPFA model terms of reference outlined at appendix 1 with the inclusion of the overview of the council’s family of companies (2.11) and the ethical framework (7)


Reason: This recommendation ensures that the committee can focus on its core functions and maintain strategic oversight of the operation of the Council’s family of companies and ethical framework.



That the committee establishes a non-proportional subcommittee with responsibility for councillor, constitution, and civic issues, the ethical framework and electoral oversight functions.


Reason: This will enable the parent committee to remain focused on core audit issues and allow the Audit and Governance Committee to benefit from the input of councillors who hold a high level of knowledge and expertise in respect of constitutional issues.



That the number of independent members is maintained, but the requirement to have one independent member to remain quorate is removed. 


Reason: The input of independent members will continue to be essential to the work of the committee.  This recommendation will allow meetings to take place whilst providing independent members the flexibility to attend remotely.



Request that the Independent Remuneration Panel consider the allowances applicable to Independent Members.


Reason: Working group members recommend that the IRP review allowances applicable to Independent Members to ensure remuneration is appropriate to continue to attract high calibre candidates for independent roles across the Council’s governance structure.



(Under this item Mrs Annette Benny and Mr Ian Shipperley declared an interest when the committee was discussing recommendation number 7 regarding the remuneration of independent members).



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