Agenda and minutes

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No. Item




An apology of absence was received from Cllr Jordan Meade. Cllr Bronwen McGarrity substituted. 



Minutes pdf icon PDF 98 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 05 July 2018 were signed by the Chair.



Declarations of Interest


No declarations of interest were made.



Annual review of the Audit & Counter Fraud Shared Service pdf icon PDF 86 KB

To provide Members of the Performance & Administration Committee with a copy of the annual review that has been conducted in respect of the Audit & Counter Fraud shared service with Medway Council.

Additional documents:


The Committee was provided with a copy of the annual review that has been conducted in respect of the Audit & Counter Fraud shared service with Medway Council.


The Head of Audit & Counter Fraud Shared Service outlined that since December 2015, the Council has had in place a shared service with Medway Council for the delivery of the Audit & Counter Fraud service. There were some challenges to the Service during the financial year that were reflected in the review, one of them being that two officers were on long term sick leave separately for six months each. Each officer is now back from leave and working full time within the service.


The Head of Audit & Counter Fraud Shared Service stated that the internal audit service was delivered with 91% plan completion (as at 31 March) for both authorities. While the Service fell short of its 95% target, the performance is still considered very good given the long term sickness of two officers and staff turnover that left an officer and manager posts vacant for half the year..


An external Quality Assessment was completed by Gateway Assure in year and concluded that the service was performing in line with the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS). Benchmarking provided showed that in relation to the three categories of measurement, the service was performing above the average for local government. While the assessment produced a positive outcome, there were some recommendations for improvement. An action plan was prepared to deal with the recommendations and this was endorsed by both the Finance & Audit Committee and the Audit Committee at Medway in June 2018. 


The Head of Audi & Counter Fraud Shared Service added that:


  • Two officers completed professional qualifications during the year. One officer completed exams to qualify as a Chartered Internal Auditor and the other one passed their Level 4 AAT
  • After being appointed as the Head of Service, James Larkin’s old manager post was deleted as part of a restructure and a third team leader position was created.
  • The Team Leader posts were regraded from Range 5 to Range 6 (under Medpay Scheme) to address concerns raised in previous years review and to take account of delegated responsibilities added by the deletion of the Manager post.
  • An intelligence analyst officer post was also created; that role will provide further resources for a more pro-active approach to identifying fraud and in turn will hopefully lead to an increase in the value of savings identified
  • The 2017 review had highlighted some pay disparity between the Audit & Counter Fraud Officers, which had been created by four separate job roles being moved into one new one. While all officers were on the same pay range, their level of pay within that range differed considerably due to their previous roles and with no incremental rises, would not catch up with colleagues. The lowest paid officers were increased to a minimum level to be comparable with colleagues.
  • All of the changes were achieved within the existing budget and the overall  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.


Corporate Performance Update – Quarter One 2018-19 pdf icon PDF 100 KB

To present Members of the Performance and Administration Committee with an update against the Performance Management Framework, as set out within the council’s Corporate Plan 2015-19, for Quarter One 2018-19 (April to June 2018).

Additional documents:


Further to minute 23 (05/07/2018) the Corporate Performance Manager presented Members of the Performance and Administration Committee with an update against the Performance Management Framework, as set out within the council’s Corporate Plan 2015-19, for Quarter One 2018-19 (April to June 2018).


The Corporate Performance Manager advised the Committee that it was a standard report that is brought to the Committee every quarter to update them on the performance of the work carried out within the Portfolio. He gave a brief overview of the layout and what the performance measures and performance indicators were as well as what they outlined in the report.


The Chair advised that each policy commitment would be looked at giving officers a chance to update Members further on the work that was involved in calculating the performance results as well as feedback on the relevant departments.


1. Underpin all council activity with sound governance and internal control measures minimising the opportunities for fraud and corruption


Performance Measure 41: Percentage of internal audit recommendations implemented


The Head of Audit & Counter Fraud Shared Services advised that it is the only PI the team has in place that he has no control over in terms of its end position. However the team do their utmost to follow up on the recommendations with senior management to ensure that they are being correctly implemented. A total of 36 recommendations were due to be implemented and, as of 30 June 2017, 10 of those remain outstanding; of those ten only  number 6 on page 24 has been implemented: Enhancement to arrangements to ensure completeness of 2018/19 service plans and service risk register.


Progress made towards implementing outstanding recommendations is monitored on a quarterly basis through reports to the council’s Management Team, with emails sent to department heads every month as well. Details of all recommendations agreed, implemented and outstanding are provided to the Council’s Finance & Audit Committee as part of the quarterly and annual A&CF update reports. Additionally, the Finance & Audit Committee has requested that any recommendations that are 6 months past their implementation date be flagged up to the Committee, and the relating officers attend to answer any questions.



2. Quality frontline services delivered on time and to the right people


Performance Measure 11: Average time taken to process Housing Benefit/Council Tax new claims (days)


The Service Manager (Revenues & Benefits) advised that, at the end of last year when the decision was taken not to progress the planned shared service arrangement, three staff left their posts. Those three staff were highly experienced and very difficult to replace; nationally there is a shortage of experienced Housing Benefit officers due to the implementation of Universal Credit. Staff feel they will eventually lose their jobs when full migration to UC occurs so they are moving onto other fields, because of that, trainees have had to be hired and trained up to fill those three vacant positions. The three trainees will become fully qualified but the length of training takes roughly six-nine months  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29.


Any other business which by reason of special circumstances the Chair is of the opinion should be considered as a matter of urgency.


The Chair advised that the following topics would have detailed reports coming to the next Committee meeting on Thursday, 15 November 2018:


  • Universal Credit
  • General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)
  • Citizens Access Portal