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The Minutes of the meeting held on 18 September 2013 were taken as read and signed as a correct record.
The Board considered a report of the Strategic Director, Policy and Resources which provided an update on progress on the mitigating actions taken in relation to the Corporate Risk Register 2013/2014.
It was reported that the Council had a responsibility to manage both internal and external risks as a key component of good corporate governance and had prepared a Corporate Risk Register to minimise the risks of damage or loss. It was noted that the Board approved the Register for 2013/14 on 22 May 2013.
Members were advised of the purpose of the Corporate Risk Register and that the risks had been grouped under specific headings in the report.
The Corporate Risk Register was appended to the report for consideration and it was noted that the format of the data had been improved.
Arising from discussion of the report, the Board noted the risks around budget reductions, the need to publicise the good work carried out in coping with the 56% reduction in Halton’s budget and suggested that a further overview commentary be provided in future regarding individual Directorate’s Risk Registers.
Members also discussed the Peer Challenge review and requested results and feedback be brought to a future meeting.
RESOLVED: That :-
1) Members review the robustness of the Corporate Risk Register and the adequacy of the associated risk management arrangements;
2) a report outlining the results and feedback from the Peer Review be brought to a future meeting
3) the Board note the progress being made.
The Board received a report of the Strategic Director, Policy and Resources which provided an update on the Council’s Procurement Strategy 2013 / 2016 targets and measurements.
It was noted that Halton’s commercial concept had again been recognised nationally with Halton BC being awarded ‘Outstanding Achievement in Procurement’ from Society of Procurement Officers (SOPO) 11 November 2013. In addition Halton was trading its services into other public sector bodies such as Sefton MBC who had engaged with us to align their whole procurement approach with ours. The Chair wished to place on record the Board’s congratulations to the Procurement Team in gaining the award.
It was reported that the Council’s Procurement Strategy provided a structured approach to procurement in order to ensure efficient processes were followed which would deliver reduced costs whilst maintaining or improving service delivery. The Procurement Strategy commenced rollout from June 2013, once approval had been granted by the Board.
Members were advised that Halton continued to deliver savings from procurement year on year. It was noted that what underpinned the success of the Council’s procurement, was the central team who worked across all spend areas of the Council and utilised the innovative Risk Based Sourcing (RBS) approach for spend below EU financial thresholds. It was further noted that all spend above £1K would go via the Chest for sourcing.
Lorraine Cox, Divisional Manager Procurement, provided a verbal report on the targets and measurements as of November 2013. The update set out the following:-
· organisation - Halton was invited to the House of Commons to present evidence to the Select Committee as part of a Local Government inquiry into procurement;
· governance and process – the Executive Board had highlighted that there was an increase of waiver reports and it was suggested that the Board investigate this further as a piece of scrutiny work;
· demand management – 2 members of staff had recently gained CIPS level 4;
· market engagement / supplier relationship management – ‘meet the buyer’ events had taken place and excellent attendance was recorded;
· category management – Halton was aligning practices with Sefton BC and other partners had expressed interest in Halton’s approach; and
· purchase to pay / e Procurement.
Arising from the verbal report Members discussed lessons learned from working collaboratively and ways to increase local businesses engagement in working with The Chest.
The Chair wished to place on record congratulations to staff in the Procurement Team in recently gaining the CIPS qualifications.
RESOLVED: That the content and position statement regarding progress with meeting targets and measures be noted.
SCHEDULE 12A OF THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT 1972 AND THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT (ACCESS TO INFORMATION) ACT 1985
In this case the Board has a discretion to exclude the press and public and, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted, it is RECOMMENDED that under Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, having been satisfied that in all the circumstances of the case the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following item of business on the grounds that it involves the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Act.
The Board considered:
1) Whether Members of the press and public should be excluded from the meeting of the Board during consideration of the following item of business in accordance with Section 100A (4) of the Local Government Act 1972 because it was likely that, in view of the nature of the business to be considered, exempt information would be disclosed, being information defined in Section 100 (1) and paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972; and
2) Whether the disclosure of information was in the public interest, whether any relevant exemptions were applicable and whether, when applying the public interest test and exemptions, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed that in disclosing the information.
RESOLVED: That as, in all the circumstances of the case, the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighed that in disclosing the information, members of the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following item of business in accordance with Section 100A(4) of the Local Government Act 1972 because it was likely that, in view of the nature of the business, exempt information would be disclosed, being information defined in Section 100 (1) and paragraph 3 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972.
Internal Audit Qtr 2 Progress Report
The Board considered a report of the Operational Director, Finance, which provided a summary of internal audit work completed since the last progress report.
The report set out key issues and recommendations and results from the work undertaken following up from the implementation of previous internal audit recommendations.
RESOLVED: That the Internal Audit work completed for the quarter be received.