Joint Audit Committee – Tuesday 29 November 2022
Joint Audit Committee
Date: Tuesday 29 November 2022
Location: Denning Room, Elizabeth II Court, Winchester and Microsoft Teams
Melvyn Neate (MN) Chair
Liz Mackenzie (LM) Vice-chair
Peter Lloyd (PL)
Katherine Pears (KP)
Gordon Manickam (GM)
Richard Croucher (RC) Chief Finance Officer, HIOWC
Andrew Lowe (AL) Chief Finance Officer, OPCC
Mike Ottaway (MO) Head of Estate & FM, OPCC
Olan Jenkins (OJ) Senior Business Manager, OPCC
Andrea Tompkins (AT) Head of Corporate Insights, HIOWC
Ace Dann (AD) Strategic Risk Manager, HIOWC
Karen Shaw (KS) Chief Internal Auditor, OPCC & HIOWC
Alan Kitcher (AK) Corporate Accountant, HIOWC
Karen Williams (KW) Staff Officer to Richard Croucher, HIOWC
Jane Goddard (JG) PA to Richard Croucher, HIOWC (minutes)
Declaration of Interests (Item 1)
There were no declarations of interest.
Apologies (Item 2)
Olivia Pinkney Chief Constable, HIOWC
Ben Snuggs Acting Chief Constable, HIOWC
Donna Jones Police & Crime Commissioner, HIOWC
Jason Kenny Chief Executive, OPCC
Lucy Hutson Acting Deputy Chief Constable, HIOWC
Mike Lattanzio Chief Information Officer, HIOWC & TVP
Matt Watson Head of Operational Learning, HIOWC
- Chair’s Report (Item 3)
The Chair advised there was nothing to report for this session.
- Minutes, Matters Arising and Action Log (Item 4)
Minutes from the previous meeting were reviewed. PL sought clarity regarding the
separate references to the ‘private’ and ’confidential’ meeting in section 568. It was
confirmed these both referred to the confidential JAC meeting and the wording of the
minutes will be clarified.
AL highlighted the omission of the word ‘not’ in section 567, which should state that
funds ‘can only be used for one-off purposes and not for a long-term commitment’.
The minutes will be updated to reflect this.
KS provided an update on action 102, regarding the ICT review that had been requested but not completed. Information was received from Neil Shovell to advise that the relevant ICT toolkit had not been implemented and it was therefore too early in the process to conduct a review. Consideration will be given to completing this during 2022/23. Action closed.
- Treasury mid-year Report 2022/23 (Item 5)
Report presented by AK for the period April-September 2022.
Question from MN regarding section 3.2 – legacy debt. AL explained that no new debt has been taken out and the existing debt has a long-term repayment period.
Discussion on section 12.1 and the implementation of the new IFRS 16 accounting standard. MN asked whether there are any financial implications of adopting this. RC advised that it will involve significant work to implement, however no financial impact is expected. The OPCC plans to adopt the new standard in April 2024.
Query from PL regarding the AA- credit rating in section 8.9 and what is the minimum rating acceptable. AL advised that the AA- criteria has been set as the minimum by Arlingclose and that regular advice on this position is issued.
Question from GM regarding the Autumn Statement and Spending Review and whether this will lead to less borrowing. AL confirmed the final details will be referred to the CC and PCC, however it was noted this will not necessarily lead to less borrowing and may result in more interest being earned on investments.
Comment from LM in relation to section 6.4 and investment assets. AL stated that advice would be sought before making purchases, such as dual purposes buildings, in light of financial risks experienced by Local Authorities following the Covid 19 pandemic.
- Review of Terms of Reference (Item 6)
Review took place of the Terms of Reference (ToR). Query from PL in relation to the highlighted section in 1.25, regarding the appointment of the Chair and Vice-Chair. It was agreed that the position could be extended in exceptional circumstances and the ToR will be updated to this effect.
Reassurance sought from LM regarding section 1.11 (partnership governance) that committee members are fully sighted on all partnership agreements. RC advised these are identified within the accounts but can be discussed at the next meeting for clarity.
ACTION 103: List of partnership agreements to be brought to the next JAC meeting for review.
- Policy Review (Item 7)
Document produced by MW. Question from MN regarding section 3.5 and the risk gradings of the overdue FPPs. RC clarified that the high risk grading refers to the nature of the policy itself, rather than the need to complete the review. It was confirmed that any high risk actions would have been completed as a priority.
MN expressed concern over the number of Health & Safety-related FPPs awaiting
advice from the Legal Department (section 3.7). AD explained the policies are all in
place and currently under review by AT and Dave Leverett, H&S Advisor. There
are questions around legal definitions in relation to the Fire Policy, which are still
- External Audit Update (Item 8)
No representative present from EY.
The accounts have not yet been signed off, despite a deadline of 30 November 2022
RC explained that evidence has been supplied to EY for two outstanding issues and
we are awaiting confirmation as to whether this is satisfactory. The HIOWC
accounts are close to being signed off and if not concluded by 31 December 2022,
draft accounts will be published.
MN asked whether there are any reputational risks of not signing off the accounts by
the deadline. RC stated there are no serious concerns. The public will be made
aware of the position by a clear statement on the website. AL agreed it is
disappointing they are not signed off but acknowledged we are in a more favourable
position than a number of other organisations. MN requested a further explanation
ACTION 104: Explanation required from EY as to why the accounts have not
been signed off by the deadline.
AL further advised that the audit fees have increased by 150%. Work is ongoing to
review the budget to take this into account, however the reason for this increase is
- Internal Audit Progress Report (Item 9)
Overview provided by KS. It was noted there are very few open or overdue actions and good progress is being made. Some draft reports are currently awaiting final sign off. There is nothing further to report by exception and no further questions were asked by the committee.
The public session closed at 1340hrs