Agenda and draft minutes

Governance and Audit Committee - Wednesday, 10th July, 2024 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber, County Hall, The Rhadyr USK. View directions

Contact: Democratic Services 


No. Item


Declarations of Interest


No declarations of interest were made.


Public Open Forum

Governance and Audit Committee Public Open Forum Guidance


Our Governance and Audit Committee meetings are live streamed and a link to the live stream will be available on the meeting page of the Monmouthshire County Council website


If you would like to share your thoughts on any matters being discussed by Governance and Audit Committee, you may attend the meeting in person (or join remotely via Microsoft Teams), or submit written representations (via Microsoft Word, maximum of 500 words).


The deadline for submitting representations to the Council is 5pm three clear working days in advance of the meeting.  All representations received will be made available to the committee members prior to the meeting.


The amount of time afforded to each member of the public to speak is at the Committee Chair’s discretion.  We ask that contributions are no longer than 4 minutes.

If you would like to attend one of our meetings to speak under the Public Open Forum at the meeting, you will need to give three working days’ notice by contacting

If you would like to suggest future topics for consideration by Governance and Audit Committee, please do so by emailing




No members of the public were in attendance.


To note the Action List from the previous meeting. pdf icon PDF 7 KB


The action list from the previous meeting was noted.


1.     Update on the 3 ISA260 recommendations: OPEN




Additional documents:


The Cabinet Member for Resources introduced the Medium-Term Financial Strategy 2024-2029.  Following presentation of the report Members were invited to comment and ask questions.  The Cabinet Member and Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Officer for Resources provided responses:


Committee Members welcomed the first Medium Term Financial Strategy recognising the critical commitment to strengthening of the Council’s financial management arrangements with the aim of further improving its financial sustainability.


Committee Members considered that the Financial Strategy provided a robust framework for understanding direction of travel, challenges and anticipated responses over time.  The importance of codifying key assumptions and developing more sophisticated scenario modelling to highlight the range of plausible outcomes was explained. 


Given that Members had previously expressed a desire for a more sophisticated approach to modelling and better visibility of assumption setting, it was noted that good progress had been made.  Members suggested that further, slightly more extreme but nonetheless plausible downside scenarios be considered in future updates so as to more fully recognise and plan for adverse outcomes. Expectations are that public spending in the medium term is going to continue to be constrained and there is a need to be prudent when planning for the future.


In considering the Financial Strategy Delivery Plan, Members considered if there was a role for the Governance and Audit Committee in overseeing progress.  It was concluded that six-monthly updates would be provided to the Committee to provide assurance in terms of progress.


As contained in the report recommendations, the Governance and Audit Committee:


i.         scrutinised the Council’s proposed draft medium term financial strategy;


ii.       provided feedback and to allow for further comments to be considered and as necessary reflected in the final draft subsequently presented to Council for approval. 


In scrutinising the strategy specific regard was given to the Committee’s terms of reference that relate to the review and assessment of risk management, internal control, and corporate governance arrangements of the authority.



Draft Annual Governance Statement pdf icon PDF 865 KB


The Acting Chief Internal Auditor introduced the draft Annual Governance Statement.  Following presentation of the report, Members were invited to ask questions and responses were provided by the Deputy Chief Executive and Chief Officer for Resources and Acting Chief Internal Auditor:


As per the report recommendations:


1.     The Governance & Audit Committee contributed to the appropriateness and content of the draft Annual Governance Statement (2023/24).


2.     Considered the review of effectiveness and the assessment made against each of the governance principles.


3.     The Committee endorsed the Annual Governance Statement for inclusion within the Draft Statement of Accounts 2023/24.




Internal Audit Plan and Annual Report for Shared Resource Service (SRS) pdf icon PDF 1 MB


The Head of Torfaen County Borough Council Internal Audit presented the Internal Audit Plan and Annual Report for the Shared Resource Service (SRS).  Following presentation of the report, Members commented and asked questions:


Aligned to the report recommendations the Committee noted the overall opinion provided by the Torfaen Head of Internal Audit.




Governance and Audit Committee Annual Report 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 250 KB


The Vice Chair introduced the Governance and Audit Committee Annual Report 2023/24 and invited questions from Committee Members:


As contained in the report recommendations, the Committee concluded that it had discharged its responsibilities during the 2023/24 period and as a consequence the Council can be reasonably assured over its work, outputs and conclusion that the  Authority’s overall governance, risk and control arrangements are broadly effective. Notwithstanding this conclusion, these arrangements will likely need to continue evolving to reflect developments in its financial position and consequential changes to how the Council re-shapes it service delivery.


During the year, the Committee considered all material elements of the  Council’s governance, risk, financial control, and internal and external auditing arrangements. Given the critical importance of independent control assurance and effective financial management, the Committee has taken a keen interest in ensuring that the proposed target operating models (TOM) for the Council’s Internal Audit and Central Finance functions were appropriate, and are being implemented promptly. It is the Committee’s expectation that the TOM for these functions will have been substantively implemented by the Autumn. 


In discharging its responsibilities the Committee has legitimately challenged officers over the design and operating effectiveness of its risk and control infrastructure with officers generally responding positively to these challenges.


The Committee endorsed the Annual Report for onward consideration by full Council.


Audit Wales Digital Review pdf icon PDF 358 KB

Additional documents:


Audit Wales Officers introduced the Audit Wales Digital Review and the Performance and Data Insight Manager presented the Management Response.  Following presentation of the report, Members were invited to ask questions:


Governance and Audit Committee Forward Work Plan pdf icon PDF 467 KB


The Governance and Audit Committee Forward Work Plan was noted.


To approve the minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 142 KB


The minutes of the previous meeting were confirmed as an accurate record.



Date of Next Meeting: 31st July 2024