64.1 The District Auditor, in his Annual Audit Letter, has made comment that Waverley’s internal control arrangements would be enhanced and brought up to date with the introduction of an audit committee. Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) scores are improved by the existence and the sound working of such a committee.
64.2 A report was presented to the Executive on the 27th June. The Executive asked that the Constitution Special Interest Group (SIG) consider the options and make its recommendations to its meeting on the 11th July.
64.3 An audit committee is regarded as a sound means of bringing independent, effective assurance into the Council’s corporate governance arrangements and it would also have a role in challenging the work of both the Executive and the various committees, including overview and scrutiny.
64.4 Both CPA and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) Code of practice for Internal Auditors in Local Government refer to an audit committee “or equivalent”. This acknowledges that some authorities might consider that such a committee might not be necessary and the roles could be fulfilled by alternative means. At the meeting of the Executive on 27th June, the District Auditor stated that his recommended approach would be to have an independent committee, but he also acknowledged that alternative arrangements could achieve the desired results provided careful consideration was given to all aspects of an audit committee’s role
64.5 The considerations of the Constitution Special Interest Group from its meeting on 7th July 2006 were tabled at the meeting of the Executive.
64.6 The Executive agreed with the considerations of the Constitution Special Interest Group and accordingly
65.2 A service director will now for a two-month period have to make decisions as Managing Director in respect of the services for which he is responsible. Officers confirmed that they felt it expedient to appoint a deputy Managing Director to ensure that there is adequate cover and continuity in the conduct of business.
65.3 At the meeting of the Executive on 6th September 2005, it was agreed that decisions to achieve savings in the staffing budget could be made by the Chief Executive (after consultation with the Leader and the Portfolio Holder for Finance and Human Resources). Now that the post of Chief Executive has been deleted, there is a need to replace this delegation. The Council’s Management Team recommends that such decisions should be undertaken by the Executive.
65.4 Officers advised that instances in the Scheme where a director or one of their members of staff are required to consult the Chief Executive where legal action is required, that references to the Chief Executive be replaced with Solicitor to the Council with the proviso that that officer consults the Managing Director. Officers also advised that it be prudent to standardise references to “Head of Legal Services” to “Solicitor to the Council” throughout the Scheme of Delegation.
65.5 In respect of licensing matters, the Scheme refers to the Chief Executive for some of the items Officers advised that the scheme should be amended to read “Head of Committee and Member Services”, who is responsible for the licensing service.
65.6 Since the last review of Contract Procedure Rules (CPRs) in March 2006, the Chief Officer Group has been renamed Management Team and it was confirmed by Officers that it was necessary that this also be updated.
65.6 The Executive
30. the changes to the Scheme of Delegation, as set out in Annexe 1 to the report, be approved;
31. all references in the Scheme of Delegation to “Head of Legal Services” be replaced by “Solicitor to the Council”;
32. the changes to Contract Procedure Rules, as set out in Annexes 2 and 3 to the report, be approved;
33. references to the “Chief Executive” as contained in Financial Regulations C403 and D203 be replaced by “Managing Director”;
34. the previous specific delegation to the Chief Executive on savings to be achieved from the staffing budget be delegated, in future, to the Executive; and
35. the Director who is next due to serve as Managing Director fulfils the role of deputy Managing Director.
Background Papers (DoF)