Agenda item - Review of the Effectiveness of the Audit & Standards Committee - Final Report

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Agenda item

Review of the Effectiveness of the Audit & Standards Committee - Final Report

Joint report of the Executive Director of Finance & Resources and the Head of Law & Monitoring (copy attached).


78.1         The Committee considered a joint report of the Executive Director of Finance & Resources and the Monitoring Officer concerning a review of the effectiveness of the Committee. The Committee had been created at the beginning of 2012/13 municipal year, and at the last meeting the Committee had received the first report on the effectiveness of the Committee. This report concluded the review and recommended actions.


78.2         In response to Councillor Wealls the Head of Financial Services explained that generally speaking the value for money (VFM) savings were monitored through the TBM process where they were defined and approved as part of the budget setting process. In assessing and determining VFM savings the Council would look at comparative costs and an assessment of overheads. In response Councillor Wealls asked if Officers could investigate a more robust methodology to identify where something was a budget reduction and where it was a VFM saving.


78.3         Councillor Summers asked a series of questions and the following responses were provided: Work was currently being undertaken to look at Member training and the induction onto new Committees. Championing and influencing had been raised in regard to the Standards work of the Committee and the Committee could focus on topics by reviewing internal protocols and other similar documents. The work of future reviews would seek to assess the value the work of the Committee added to the organisation.


78.4         Councillor Sykes stated that if VFM was confused with service pressure then the level of service pressure could increase, but this could be reduced through early intervention. It was highlighted that the Executive Director of Finance & Resources had suggested the role of the Committee in understanding and influencing ethics in the organisation could be developed, and where there were concerns individual Officers could be invited to the Committee. The Monitoring Officer added that there was a role for the Committee to fill in relation to functions previously performed by the now defunct Governance Committee.


78.5         In response to Councillor A. Norman the Monitoring Officer explained that there had been a general discussion in relation to the core knowledge and skills framework of the Committee when assessed using the desktop exercise. He stated that the Committee Members were very experienced and the Committee benefited hugely from the talent bought by the Independent Persons, and the term ‘satisfactory’ which was used in report did not do justice to the level of skill.


78.6         RESOLVED – That the Committee:


(1)               Note the findings of the Review of Effectiveness of the Audit & Standards Committee; and,


(2)               Agree the recommendation as set out in paragraph 3.11.

Supporting documents:


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