Local democracy during coronavirus

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Agenda and minutes

Venue: The George Hudson Board Room - 1st Floor West Offices (F045). View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 

Webcast: Watch or listen to the meeting online

No. Item


Declarations of Interest

At this point in the meeting, Members are asked to declare any disclosable pecuniary interest or other registerable interest they might have in respect of business on this agenda, if they have not already done so in advance on the Register of Interests.


Members were asked to declare any personal interests not included on the Register of Interests, any prejudicial interests or any disclosable pecuniary interests which they may have in respect of business on the agenda. None were declared.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 122 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the meeting held on 6 April 2022.


Resolved:  That the minutes of the meeting held on 29 April 2022 be approved and then signed by the Chair as a correct record.


Public Participation

At this point in the meeting members of the public who have

registered to speak can do so. Please note that our registration

deadlines have changed to 2 working days before the meeting, in

order to facilitate the management of public participation at our

meetings. The deadline for registering is 5.00pm on 27 June 2022. Members of the public can speak on agenda items or

matters within the remit of the committee.


To register to speak please visit

www.york.gov.uk/AttendCouncilMeetings to fill in an

online registration form. If you have any questions about the

registration form or the meeting please contact the Democracy

Officer for the meeting whose details can be found at the foot of the agenda.


Webcasting of Public Meetings

Please note that, subject to available resources, this public meeting will be webcast including any registered public speakers who have given their permission. The public meeting can be viewed on demand at www.york.gov.uk/webcasts. During coronavirus, we've made some changes to how we're running council meetings. See our coronavirus updates (www.york.gov.uk/COVIDDemocracy) for more information on meetings and decisions.


Written representations in respect of items on this agenda should

be submitted to Democratic Services by 5.00pm on 27 June 2022.


It was reported that there had been one registration to speak at the meeting under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.


Andy Mendus noted his hopes that the two new independent members are excellent in their roles. He made note that there were still fewer internal audits since the pandemic started compared to prior. Finally he enquired whether the Committee were content with the Highways CDM (Construction, Design and Management) Regulations internal audit being given reasonable assurance considering the issues highlighted in the report.


Corporate Governance Report pdf icon PDF 151 KB

This report provides Members with updates in respect of:

        Corporate Governance performance indicators update

        Information Commissioners Office (ICO) published decision notices

        Ombudsman cases from last report in April 2022 to date of preparing this report on 16th June 2022.

        NHS Digital data security and protection toolkit

Additional documents:


The Committee considered the report providing an update on the Corporate Governance of the Council from April 2021 to March 2022. Members were informed that the pandemic had impacted responses in time to requests for information such as freedom of information requests. The Committee also discussed the Information Commissions Ombudsman report that the Council received which partially upheld a complaint. Members discussed whether a piece of work should be undertaken in relation to complaints received regarding parking and agreed to recommend this to the Council’s Customer and Corporate Services Scrutiny Management Committee (CCSMC).




                      i.         That the Committee request that CCSMC review how the Council issues parking permits.


Reason:     To ensure the Council is performing its governance duties effectively.


Annual report of the head of internal audit pdf icon PDF 239 KB

This report includes the Annual Report of the Head of Internal Audit, which summarises internal audit work undertaken in 2021/22 and provides an opinion on the overall adequacy and effectiveness of the council’s framework of governance, risk management and internal control. An annual report summarising counter fraud activity and performance is also included.

Additional documents:


The Committee were provided with both the annual internal audit report and annual counter fraud report. The Committee enquired about a number of the audit report assessments, such as, Highways CDM (Construction, Design and Management) Regulations. Members raised questions regarding why considering the report it achieved a reasonable assurance. It was confirmed in report the Highways CDM Regulations internal audit considered that while there were issues on balance they felt comfortable assigning a reasonable assurance, they also confirmed that they intended to perform a follow up audit.


It was confirmed that internal audit only gave an official opinion on audits which were wide enough in scoop, therefore work on absence management did not have an opinion provided. The Committee highlighted that the Council had recently been found to require improvement by Ofsted and asked why internal audit had given SEN Ofsted Inspection & written statement of action (WSoA) substantial assurance. Internal audit confirmed that their assurance was in relation to the delivery of the action plan not the service itself. In relation to Children’s Services it was confirmed that the Council had provided the Department of Education and Ofsted a written statement of actions to improve which both were currently content with.




                      i.         Noted the results of internal audit and counter fraud work undertaken.


Reason:     To enable members to consider the implications of

internal audit findings, and inform their assessment of the effectiveness of counter fraud arrangements.


                     ii.         Noted the opinion of the Head of Internal Audit on the

adequacy and effectiveness of the council’s framework of governance, risk management and internal control .


Reason:     To enable members to consider the implications of

internal audit findings.


                    iii.        Noted the outcome of the Quality Assurance and

Improvement Programme and the confirmation that the

internal audit service conforms with Public Sector Internal Audit Standards.


Reason:     To enable members to consider the opinion of the Head of Internal Audit.


                   iv.        Noted that no significant control weaknesses have been identified by internal audit during the year which are relevant to the preparation of the Annual Governance Statement.


Reason:     To enable the Annual Governance Statement to be



Treasury Management Outturn pdf icon PDF 140 KB

Audit & Governance Committee are responsible for ensuring effective scrutiny of the treasury management strategy and policies, as stated in the Treasury Management Strategy 2020/21 approved by full Council on 17 February 2021. 

Additional documents:


The Committee considered and noted the Treasury Management Annual report and reviewed of Prudential Indicators for 2021/22.




                      i.         Noted the Treasury Management Annual Report and Review of Prudential Indicators 2021/22.


Reason:     That those responsible for scrutiny and governance arrangements are updated on a regular basis to ensure that those implementing policies and executing transactions have properly fulfilled their responsibilities with regard to delegation and reporting.


Statement of Accounts 2021/22 pdf icon PDF 146 KB

The purpose of this report is to present for information the draft 2021/22 Statement of Accounts before they are audited. 

Additional documents:


Officers introduced the statement of accounts for 2021/22, it was confirmed that the accounts were with external audit and should expect external audit to bring there assessment to the Committee later in the year. The Committee considered the accounts and raised several questions related to how pension liabilities are presented in the account. It was agreed that the Committee would benefit from a briefing with officers around Council pensions.




                      i.         Noted the draft pre-audit statement of accounts, for the financial year ended 31 March 2022.


Reason:     To ensure that, in line with best practice, Members have had the opportunity to review the draft pre-audit Statement of Accounts.


Mazars Audit Strategy Memorandum pdf icon PDF 188 KB

The paper attached at Annex A is the Audit Progress Report from Mazars which communicates their audit approach, highlights significant audit risks and areas of key judgements.

Additional documents:


The committee considered and noted Mazars audit approach.




                   i.        Noted the matters set out in the Audit Progress Report presented by the external auditor.


Reason:     To ensure the proper consideration of the progress of the external auditor in respect of the annual audit of accounts and review of the council’s arrangements for ensuring value for money.


Audit and Governance Work Plan pdf icon PDF 308 KB

To receive a plan of reports currently expected to be presented to

future meetings of the Committee up to March 2023.


It was agreed that the provisional 13 July 2022 meeting be cancelled as this date was now not required by the Committee. It was confirmed that the Local Government Association would be able to attend the Committee on 7 September 2022 and the report on Exit Strategies could also be considered on 7 September 2022. Finally the Committee agreed to merge the January meetings of the Committee with all items currently scheduled for 4 January 2022 to be added to the 18 January 2022 meeting.




                      i.         An updated work plan to be circulated to the Committee.


Reason:     To ensure the Committee has a plan of work for



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