Council meetings

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Civic Suite, Lewisham Town Hall, London SE6 4RU

Contact: Olga Cole 

No. Item


Minutes pdf icon PDF 116 KB


Item 6 refers to the Transparency Code audit.

Matters arising:

The action from item 5, Management responses are to be circulated after this

meeting and discussed at the next meeting. The Constitution has been updated to

reflect that report referrals and recommendations now go to the Executive Director as


The minutes were agreed.


Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 208 KB


No interests were declared.


Internal Audit Quaterly Report pdf icon PDF 639 KB

Additional documents:


The Chief Finance Officer presented this report. He updated the Panel on the



The internal audit plan is still being progressed. With the exception of the Financials

and HR and Payroll Implementation, all are now complete. There has been some

difficulty as contractors do not have the resources either. The team are looking at

getting another agency to carry out some of the work.


The internal control board sat last week. They reviewed the timeliness of actions and

bringing internal recommendations to implementation. There was a dispute

surrounding the accounts payable audit, in which they agreed that the approach

taken by management was reasonable, to keep it under review until it is resolved.

there was also discussion around the number of recommendations that had been

closed. They were satisfied with the Directors’ support that those actions had been



The type of controls as they relate to High or Medium findings continue to be

monitored. The majority of the controls where action is required are in procedures,

compliance and information security.


On the schools’ audit, there is no mechanism at the moment that is resourced to

enable the schools to feedback on their progress so these numbers were excluded

from the report. This falls under the schools’ governance- for completeness, when

these audits are finalised they will go to the Director for Educational Standards so

that their team look at the audit and the recommendations in the context of other

matters that they are working with headteachers on.


In the next financial year, internal audit will perform an exercise to find an external

assessor to carry out the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards assessment. Once

the exercise is complete, internal audit will suggest the preferred provided to

members. Internal audit implemented all but one of the recommendations- internal

audit are recommending that members reconsider implementing the recommendation

to annually complete an effectiveness assessment that includes an assessment of

the effectiveness of the internal audit service and HIA.


The Chair noted that the backlog of corporate actions is starting to decrease. When

asked about the process of recruitment of the head of Internal Audit, the officer

responded that in the interim there are plans to recruit via agency because the wider

role will need a reconsideration of responsibilities.



Regarding the outstanding actions on; the transparency code, data breach, prepayment

cards and safeguarding, it was asked that more information is provided on

those, of which the officer noted.



The officer responsible for the Local Government Transparency Code should be

proving a written briefing when they return from sick leave of which officers will

circulate if received before the next meeting.


Members asked for context regarding the PSIAS recommendation. The Chair asked

if the Audit Panel itself should consider the effectiveness of the internal audit service

at large, therefore it is not a self-assessment of the Panel, it is the Panel conducting

an assessment of the Council’s internal audit function. Officers responded that the

assessment focus is the skills and  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Oracle Cloud pdf icon PDF 606 KB


The Director of Financial Services presented this report alongside the Accounts

Payable Team Leader, the Oracle Cloud Finance Manager and the IT Applications

Manager. The report was briefly summarised and the Panel discussed.


The Oracle Cloud Programme was split into two parts. The focus of the report was

the first phase- the core HR and financials and the procurement. The second phase

is progressing well which covers the employee self-service, manager self-service and

payroll, which is expected to go live imminently.


Some modules have been implemented and went live in May 2018, as detailed in the

report. Fixed assets, a new module, did not work particularly well at first and

alternative options for closing down in 2019/20 are being looked at. By large, the

modules are working well, and issues are being sorted through.


Informing and communicating how this system works is a priority going forward.

Engagement, training and awareness is improving, reducing any challenges in using

it. Panel members stated that it is important that staff being trained on the selfservice

system are using it soon after, although the drop in sessions are useful.


Managers are continually improving learning resources to increase training results.

As part of the transition of the applications into full time support from the program,

key user training has been organised.


The business as usual support arrangements has been strengthened and changedthere has been a restructure of the application and support team, and there will be a final service level agreement Children’s Social Care and IT which would mean that there will be integration and monitoring of how the system is used, ensuring there are system upgrades or renewed processes as necessary.


The Chair raised concern about the point raised in the report that not all budget

holders feel they are sufficiently able to use the PBCS (Planning and Budgeting

Control Service). The Chair asked if this was indicative that they are not able to use

the service at all and therefore unable to sufficiently control budgeting and spending.

The officers responded that predominantly this meant that the finance team or other

admin staff were doing this work on the service for them. The Panel discussed that

this onus should not fall on the finance team and recommended this was drawn to

the attention of the Chief Executive of the Council to align with the cultural shift.


The Chief Finance Officer mentioned that he will be holding a group session on the

13th January to discuss the Budget. He suggested that this would be a good

opportunity to raise the issue with the Chief Executive.


Work Programme/Action Log pdf icon PDF 270 KB

Additional documents:


The Chair advised of the following:


Oracle Cloud will remain a continual item, however it can be a less in-depth report

and just provide an update, focusing on the outstanding actions.


The internal audit update will remain on the work programme provisionally. If there

have been significant progress against the Transparency Code, data breach, prepayment cards and safeguarding as outlined above, there will be nothing additional to report on at the next meeting. The Panel agreed to delegate this decision to the Chair.


PSIAS- internal audit would provide a report on the performance of the Audit Panel.

This is to be put as a standard item annually in March.

The Risk Register will remain a standard item in the quarterly audit report.




The audit report to the Public Accounts Committee will be circulated to Members in

advance for comment and will be included in the next agenda as an information item

for the Panel.


The report was noted and agreed.