Joint Audit Committee 28 May 2020
Date: Thursday May 28th 2020
Location: Due to COVID-19 the meeting used ‘Teams’ for participants to dial-in.
Melvyn Neate (MN) Chair
Liz Mackenzie (LM) Vice-Chair
Peter Lloyd (PL)
Katherine Pears (KP)
Gordon Manickam (GM)
Scott Chilton (SC) Assistant Chief Constable, Hampshire Constabulary
James Payne (JP) Chief Executive Officer, OPCC
Andrew Lowe (AL) Chief Finance Officer for the OPCC
Richard Croucher (RC) Chief Finance Officer for the Chief Constable, Hampshire Constabulary
Karen Shaw (KS) Chief Internal Auditor, OPCC and HC
Richard Andrews (RA) Head of Standards and Compliance, OPCC
Kevin Suter (KSu) Associate Partner, Ernst & Young
Nadia Siouty-Burke (NSB) Programme Office Manager, OPCC
Shirley Semke (SS) Executive Office Manager, OPCC (Minutes)
UPDATE FROM PCC MICHAEL LANE
The PCC joined the meeting to update Members on his exceptional additional year in office due to the current COVID-19 crisis, and the postponement of the PCC Elections to May 2021. He briefly outlined his new Police and Crime Plan which has been sent to Members for their information and which will remain in place for two years.
The Chair thanked Michael for the update and he left the meeting.
DECLARATION OF INTERESTS
Members were mindful that, where they believed they had a personal or prejudicial interest in any matter to be considered at the meeting, they should at the time of the debate, declare their interest and consider whether to leave the meeting whilst the matter was discussed. There were no declarations of interest.
DCC Sara Glen, Gabe Snuggs (HC), Rob Griffiths (HC)
435. CHAIR’S REPORT (ITEM 8)
The Chair thanked attendees for dialing in and hoped that any technical problems would be ironed out before the July meeting to sign-off the accounts.
The Chair advised the meeting that he had been invited to comment on the External Audit fees and had sent letter after agreement with Members.
The Chair has emailed the CC and PCC offering assistance and support in case of need during the current crisis. The contact had been very well received and acknowledged by the PCC and CC personally.
Action 90 (MN): The Chair to share the letter on External Audit fees with the committee.
436. MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 11th February 2020, MATTERS ARISING AND ACTION LOG (ITEM 4)
The minutes were agreed as a correct record and the actions all complete. There were no matters arising.
437. OPCC COVID-19 UPDATE (ITEM 5)
JP presented the OPCC COVID response timeline to the meeting acknowledging the PCCs prompt initiation of the need to work with policing and staff to remain safe during unprecedented times. The update covered estates, planning for the new PCC election, technology for home working, cyber security and support for staff.
MN Thanked JP for his comprehensive presentation, and noted that risks, policies and procedures for remote working had been reviewed and updated.
438. HC COVID-19 UPDATE (ITEM 6)
ACC Scott Chilton, Gold Commander for COVID gave the presentation as given to the Force Internal Executive meeting.
A separate Gold Group, Operation Mix was set up when COVID started with a critical response. A daily tracking and analysis system was instigated to recognise pressure points, together with a weekly status report displaying key issues, including workforce ability to respond to public demand. SC updated the meeting on the operational impacts of the COVID virus. SC answered questions covering Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), impact on Contact Management Platform (CMP), impact on the workforce, backlog of cases in the Criminal Justice system and financial impacts.
The Chair thanked SC for his presentation and noted the impressive list of work done by the force.
439. EXTERNAL AUDIT PROGRESS UPDATE (ITEM 7)
KSu presented highlights from the report which is an overview of progress against the 2019/20 audit plan. Good progress has been made to date with no impact from Covid-19. On p9, Valuation of Land and Buildings consideration will be given to whether further input may be needed from internal specialists on valuations. On p10. IFRS 16 leases, the new accounting standard has been deferred to 2021/2 by CIPFA due to COVID . P11&12 outline the slight change in approach which is a not major risk. Management’s assessment of whether the PCC and CC are a going concern will need to consider issues including the financial impact of COVID-19. More information is available from the CFOs if required.
MN referred to p4, progress on audit and asked if there had been any issues on the walkthrough of key systems. KSu advised that the control and process is to be checked after the impact of COVID but there are no issues for attention.
LM asked for an explanation of the McCloud judgement. This was an age discrimination case in 2015 and explained further by RC.
AL referred to the audit timeline due 23rd July and the Annual Accounts out early June. KSU advised it is difficult to guarantee when audits will be finished in current climate when it is not possible to visit sites. This may require changes to process and EY will advise if original timescales cannot be met.
440. INTERNAL AUDIT PROGRESS REPORT 2019/20 PLUS COVID IMPACT
KS presented her report together with the impact of Covid-19 on internal audit work. KS Outlined the impact the current crisis has had on the 2020/21 audit plan. Some OPCC reviews have continued and a virtual meeting is arranged with JP and AL next week to assess the impact and review the plan.
• MN asked if the delay to the audit programme and the ceasing of work in TVP will impact on the ability to form the Annual Audit opinion. KS confirmed this will not be impacted, the team are working to deadlines and will have the ability to form the annual internal audit opinion.
• MN further asked if there is anything to report on the internal ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office).The on-site work is complete and the report is being compiled. The audit will reflect KS’s opinion and provide a clear picture on the actual agreed actions and the OPCC response to the ICO requests. A full and detailed report is to be provided.
• PL referred to the 10 overdue actions, 4 of which are high priority, noting that this is understandable in the current situation. He questioned if there a timetable for the completion of the overdue actions to provide an accurate picture and requested an interim report before the next meeting. MN supported this.
ACTION 91 (RC): RC to provide an interim report to members on the overdue actions for HC.
441. 2020/21 SCALE FEE POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER FOR HAMPSHIRE
RC advised that the scale fee has not changed for HC or for the PCC so there is no change in the overall fees. There is an awareness amongst all CFOs that lots of auditors are approaching the PSAA (Public Sector Audit Appointments) to seek extra money which will be the subject of ongoing review. AL has had a conversation with EY who are proposing a 60% increase in scale fee for 2020, advising that the decision on any increase rests with PSAA. It is expected that EY will put this proposal in writing together with the reasons for the proposed increase. When asked what would happen if HC and OPCC are not happy with the decision KSu was unsure as the EY contract is with the PSAA. RC advised that in case of need the legal position would be explored.
• PL questioned the PSAA letter scale fee which refers to a scale fee and then a final fee and asked whether the scale fee is adjusted. An explanation was given by RC.
• LM asked when the next auditor guidance notes are available as mentioned in the scale fee letter. It was advised that these are on the website, always available and regularly updated.
Action 92 (KSu): KSU to send written request to CFOs regarding proposed scale fee increase and share with JAC
442. ANNUAL GOVERNANCE STATEMENTS PROGRESS UPDATES 2019/20
RC presented the HC report advising that the statement is presented with tracked changes to facilitate the easy review of changes made since last year. Sections 6&7 are updated each year. Attention was drawn to:
6.1 COVID-19. This will be big issue this financial year with some risks listed.
6.2 Uplift Programme. This outlines the considerable undertaking in recruiting new officers, and staff to support these officers on top of replacing leavers together with the new PEQF (Police Education Qualification Framework) contract which will allow the Constabulary to recruit larger numbers of officers, using higher education institutions.
6.3 People Strategy. An updated People Strategy will identify the skill sets required to deliver performance now and in the future.
6.4. CMP (Contact Management Platform). The software went live in January 2020 and continues to embed well and realise the benefits of the significant investment.
• KP asked if summer resourcing will be a significant issue this year with events, including national events cancelled meaning less demand during summer period. It was advised that the risk remains although with a different profile and better mitigations.
The OPCC statement, presented by AL, again showed tracked changes with the main changes in sections 6&7. AL drew attention to:
6.1 Covid-19 is the main change with the postponement of the PCC elections for 12 months and challenges in the delivery of the organisation’s core functions.
6.3 Microsoft Teams has facilitated remote working for the office team and has been extended to include members of the JAC, providing them with the ability to continue to provide scrutiny and independent assessment during this unprecedented time.
6.7 ICT Board. A Hampshire PCC/HC specific ICT Board was established in April 2020. This Board will enable the PCC to have greater oversight and governance of performance, project delivery and financial control perspectives and recognises the significant investment in ICT and joint ICT projects with TVP.
6.9 Uplift Programme. New governance arrangements have been implemented ensuring requests to support the Uplift programme are subject to scrutiny by the PCC CFO.
7-7.3.The statement outlines the actions from the previous plan around recommendations and responses to the ICO audit.
• PL queried the new ICT Board. The board is Hampshire only and sits alongside the joint board. The board was formed as a result of concerns around shared services and is to give Hampshire better oversight and governance from performance, project delivery and financial control perspectives.
• MN asked if the JAC will feed in to new board and this was welcomed. RC added that TVP will share contract renewals for BAU for the next 12 months as significant sums are involved. MN noted the new board as a good step forward.
443. YEAR END ACCOUNTS PROGRESS UPDATES 2019/20 (ITEM 11)
AL confirmed that the HCC Team have made good progress with the accounts, especially given lockdown. The target date of 31st May when the accounts should be published is looking possible and the accounts are in good shape for delivery and for EY to pick up the audit.
RC notes that the team are still chasing the pension figures for completion.
444. ANY OTHER BUSINESS (ITEM 12)
There was no other business.
The meeting closed at 15.15pm
The next meeting is on Tuesday July 23rd 2020 at 12pm
DATE: Thursday May 28th 2020
VENUE: by Teams
CONTACT: Shirley Semke, 02380 479682
1. DECLARATION OF INTERESTS
All members who believe they have a personal or prejudicial interest in any matter to be considered at the meeting must declare that interest and consider whether to leave the meeting whilst the matter is discussed, save for exercising any right to speak. The declaration should be made at the time of the relevant debate.
3. CHAIR’S REPORT
The Chair to report as appropriate.
4. MINUTES, MATTERS ARISING AND ACTION LOG, AND FEEDBACK FROM THOSE CHARGED WITH GOVERNANCE
To agree the minutes of the meeting on 11th February 2020 as a correct record, and consider any matters arising.
5. OPCC COVID-19 UPDATE
To receive and update from the Chief Executive Officer.
6. HC COVID UPDATE
To receive an update from the Constabulary.
7. EXTERNAL AUDIT PROGRESS UPDATE
To consider the report from the External Auditors.
8. INTERNAL AUDIT PROGRESS REPORT 2019/20 PLUS COVID IMPACT
To consider the report of the Chief Internal Auditor on progress to date, together with the COVID-19 impact.
9. 2020/21 SCALE FEE POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER FOR HAMPSHIRE
To review the letters for OPCC and HC for the scale audit fee for 2020/21.
10. ANNUAL GOVERNANCE STATEMENTS PROGRESS UPDATES 2019/20
To receive an update from the Chief Finance Officer.
11. YEAR END ACCOUNTS PROGRESS UPDATE 2019/20
To receive an update from the Chief Finance Officer.
12. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
ABOUT THIS AGENDA:
This agenda is available on Police and Crime Commissioner’s website (www.hampshire-pcc.gov.uk) and can be provided, on request to 01962 871595, in alternative versions (such as large print, Braille or audio) and in alternative languages. Any papers are also available on request.
ABOUT THIS MEETING:
The press and public are welcome to attend the public sessions of the meeting.
If you have any particular access requirements, for example if you require wheelchair access or a hearing loop, please contact us on 01962 871595 in advance of the meeting to make the necessary arrangements.