Audit 09.09.07w
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MINUTES OF THE AUDIT COMMITTEE MEETING HELD ON MONDAY 7 SEPTEMBER 2009 PRESENT: Mr Steve Wolski (Chair), Mr Alan Cotton, Mr John Whittaker. IN ATTENDANCE: Mrs Jane McCann (Director of Finance), Mr Greg Wilson (PwC), Miss Sarah Jewett (PwC), Mr Trevor Rees (KPMG), Jean Tracy (Clerk). 1. APOLOGIES Apologies were received from Mr Mohamed Isap, Mrs Emma Casson (KPMG) and Miss Helen Knowles (KPMG). 2. MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING The minutes of the meeting held on 11 June 2009 were accepted as a true and correct record and were duly signed by the Chair. 3. MATTERS ARISING The KPMG audit report on Governance had been considered by the Chair, Principal and Clerk and responses to the comments raised had been made. The document is in the process of being shared with College management before being presented to the members of the Board and a number of actions have already been completed or are in the process of being actioned. The College responses and information on progress to date will be brought to the next meeting of the Audit Committee. Action: Clerk The College informed the meeting that the new Health & Safety Manager had been appointed and was undertaking work to ensure that a central register of risk assessments was in place and complete. There were no other matters arising not covered elsewhere in the agenda. Audit 09.09.07w.doc Page 1 of 6 4. INTERNAL AUDIT REPORTS: Mr Trevor Rees ...

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Audit 09.09.07w.doc
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MINUTES OF THE AUDIT COMMITTEE MEETING
HELD ON MONDAY 7 SEPTEMBER 2009
PRESENT:
Mr Steve Wolski (Chair), Mr Alan Cotton, Mr John Whittaker.
IN ATTENDANCE:
Mrs Jane McCann (Director of Finance), Mr Greg Wilson
(PwC), Miss Sarah Jewett (PwC), Mr Trevor Rees (KPMG), Jean Tracy
(Clerk).
1.
APOLOGIES
Apologies were received from Mr Mohamed Isap, Mrs Emma Casson (KPMG)
and Miss Helen Knowles (KPMG).
2.
MINUTES OF THE LAST MEETING
The minutes of the meeting held on 11 June 2009 were accepted as a true
and correct record and were duly signed by the Chair.
3.
MATTERS ARISING
The KPMG audit report on Governance had been considered by the Chair,
Principal and Clerk and responses to the comments raised had been made.
The document is in the process of being shared with College management
before being presented to the members of the Board and a number of actions
have already been completed or are in the process of being actioned.
The
College responses and information on progress to date will be brought to the
next meeting of the Audit Committee.
Action:
Clerk
The College informed the meeting that the new Health & Safety Manager had
been appointed and was undertaking work to ensure that a central register of
risk assessments was in place and complete.
There were no other matters arising not covered elsewhere in the agenda.
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4.
INTERNAL AUDIT REPORTS:
Mr Trevor Rees presented the reports, which included information to the
Committee on the purpose of the reviews as well as the outcome.
(i)
IT Security Review 2008/09
The overall grading for the IT Security Review was ‘satisfactory’ and 2
medium and 2 low recommendations had been made.
The Committee noted that the College had accepted in full the
recommendation made to minimise the reliance on one key member of staff to
restore data in the event of disaster.
The Committee considered the recommendations made by the auditors in
relation to generic super user accounts and the College management’s
response.
It noted the reasons why the College had not agreed to the
recommendation and the actions to be taken to document existing
procedures.
The auditors informed the Committee that they were content with
the College response and agreed that the table on page 2 of the report would
be amended to reflect KPMG’s acceptance to the College’s responses.
Action:
KPMG
The Committee also noted the two low priority recommendations and the
College responses, including the reasons why the College was not proposing
to change the operation of student passwords.
In addition to the key findings as above, the auditors had identified 5 areas of
good practice.
(ii)
Franchise Provision - Unannounced Spot Checks
2008/09
The overall grading for this audit was ‘good’ and no recommendations were
made by the auditors.
(iii)
Internal Audit Annual Report 2008/09
The annual report covered the planned coverage and output, implementation
of recommendations, performance of the internal audit service, operational
assurance, overall assurance and opinion.
Based on the reviews undertaken
during 2008/09, the auditor’s opinion was that the College had satisfactory
arrangements in order to provide assurance to the Board over the
effectiveness and adequacy of the risk management, internal control and
governance arrangements.
The auditors informed the Committee that
‘satisfactory’ was the highest grading and that this was an unqualified opinion.
The report stated that management responses to reports issued in the year
had been positive and had provided timely implementation dates.
Of the ten
review opinions, six were ‘good’ and four ‘satisfactory’ and indicated a strong
return.
In total 22 recommendations had been made:
none were high priority;
6 medium and 16 low.
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The report indicated that there had been a good level of follow up of previous
recommendations and the Committee noted that the auditors would monitor
the progress of those recommendations which were still in progress.
After discussion, the Audit Committee AGREED to recommend the Internal
Audit Annual Report 2008/09 to the Board for formal approval at its meeting in
October 2009.
5.
INTERNAL AUDIT STRATEGY & ANNUAL PLAN 2009/10
The Committee considered the report which covered the strategy, annual plan
2009/10, key elements of the annual plan for 2009/10 and the audit process.
The detailed scope of the proposed reviews will be agreed in discussion with
managers.
The Committee was informed that the annual plan in Appendix 3
did not include Personnel and that a revised report would be issued by
KMPG.
Action:
KPMG
A member of the Audit Committee asked whether the College was happy that
the annual plan reflected the risk register.
Rachel Curry replied that the audit
days for learner numbers and franchising had been increased from 6 to 7 to
cover the entirety of the student number work and that the College had
requested that HE be included. The Director of Human Resources would be
retiring in December 2009 and it was therefore appropriate that personnel be
covered in the 2009/10 plan.
The College assured the Committee that the
plan reflected the risk register.
The College was also asked whether the pay system was sufficiently
monitored to ensure that there would be no issues relating to equal pay.
It
was informed that the Director of Human Resources had recently undertaken
a detailed analysis and that a report had been presented to Policy &
Resources Committee.
KPMG suggested that job evaluations/modernising
pay could be picked up in the audit of personnel.
Having considered the Internal Audit Strategy and Annual Plan 2009/10, the
Committee AGREED that it should be recommended to the Board for formal
approval at its meeting in October 2009.
6.
EXTERNAL AUDIT UPDATE
The Committee was informed that Greg Wilson and Jane McCann had
already met to look at the key issues for the audit and that there was nothing
to intimate significant changes.
The financial statements audit would take
place in October 2009.
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7.
RISK MANAGEMENT UPDATE
The report provided the Committee with information on the swine flu
contingency plan, the HEFCE data and audits and the key risks identified to
the LSC in the budget submission.
The risk register was included in the
report.
The Committee noted that HEFCE audit regimes were to be tightened and
asked what monitoring was currently in place of the student enrolments and
retention.
It was pleased to note that weekly reports on enrolments and
monthly retention reports were already in place.
It also noted that the same
controls applied to HE and FE funded learners.
8.
MASTER PLAN UPDATE
(i)
(i)
FE
The Committee considered the report which covered the current position and
plans for the future.
..
(ii)
(ii) HE
The build had been completed 6 weeks ahead of the programmed completion
date and had been delivered within budget with a net contingency of £54,500.
The opening was taking place on Friday 11
th
September and a number of
events had been planned to maximise publicity for the new University Centre.
The Committee commented on the possible claw back of funds should the
NWDA be unhappy with the BREEAM rating and asked what level this could
be.
The College replied that it had not received an indication of the amount
but that any claw back would be covered by the funds which had not yet been
claimed.
The Committee commented that as it had always been clear that the
site of the building on Barbara Castle Way would make it impossible to
achieve an ‘excellent’ rating, it would expect the College to challenge any
proposed claw back.
9.
FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT CONTROL & EVALUATION 2008/09
The Committee considered the FMCE and noted the Principal’s endorsement
of the report and the self assessment grades contained in it.
The Committee
AGREED to recommend the report to the Corporation Board for formal
approval.
The report would then be sent to the LSC in accordance with the
deadline for submission of 30
th
November 2009.
10. REGULARITY AUDIT SELF ASSESSMENT QUESTIONNAIRE 2008/09
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The Committee noted the report and asked whether the £10,000 figure above
which formal quotations are required were still reasonable.
This will be
considered by the College as part of the review of the Financial Regulations.
Action:
JMcC
Having considered the completed questionnaire, the Committee noted that
this would now be signed by the Principal and forwarded to PwC as part of the
financial statements audit process.
11. REVIEW OF/PROGRESS AGAINST TERMS OF REFERENCE
The Committee considered the existing terms of reference, its progress
against these and whether its requirements under the terms of reference had
been met.
The Committee did not wish to make any recommendations for amendment to
its terms of reference and AGREED that the report on its progress against
these was accurate and should be presented to the Board as part of its
annual self-assessment process.
12. AUDIT ACTION POINT STATUS REPORT
The Committee noted the content of the report and the current status of the
agreed actions.
In particular, it noted the significant training which had taken
place for cross-college staff undertaking Train to Gain systems and
processes.
13. AUDIT SCHEDULE 2009/10 UPDATE
The Committee noted the schedule to date for 2009/10.
14. AUDIT COMMITTEE CALENDAR OF BUSINESS 2009/10
The Committee noted and approved the calendar of business 2009/10.
The
Clerk informed the Committee that this would be updated throughout the year
as necessary.
15. ANY OTHER BUSINESS
There were no items of any other business.
16. DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of the Audit Committee will take place on Tuesday 1
st
December 2009 at 5.30pm in FM13.
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Signature: …………………………………………………
Date: ………………………………………………………