Confirmed Minutes of the Audit Committee of the Governing Body of Carmel College held on Tuesday 10 th June 2014 at 1.00pm

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1 Confirmed Minutes of the Audit Committee of the Governing Body of Carmel College held on Tuesday 10 th June 2014 at 1.00pm Present: College Personnel: In attendance: Mrs Karen Gornall (Chair) Fr. Chris McCoy Mr Mike Nencini Mrs Carole Williams Mr Rob Peacock (Principal) Mrs Michelle Williams (Vice Principal Strategy & Resources) Mr Glen Palethorpe (Internal Auditor, Baker Tilly) Mrs Catherine Pennington (Clerk) Ms Kath O Hara (Minuting Clerk) The Committee met on its own without Senior Post Holders and Auditors present at the start of the meeting. There were no issues of concern. The Senior Post Holders entered the meeting. 1. Declarations of Interest There were no declarations of interest. 2. Apologies Apologies were received from Miss Kath Boullen. 3. Minutes of the Meeting of 4 th March 2014 The Minutes were agreed as a correct record and signed accordingly. 4. Matters Arising Agenda Item 7 (iii) Reports from the Internal Auditor, Baker Tilly: Internal Audit Progress Report The Clerk tabled an updated version of the Internal Audit Progress Report from the Internal Auditor, Baker Tilly. The updated version summarises all the audit work undertaken during the academic year 2013/14, in accordance with the Internal Audit Plan for 2013/14. Governors noted that for all reviews where an assurance opinion is provided, the best opinion possible Green had been obtained. The attention of Governors was also drawn to the updated details referring to Internal Audit Performance. Governors noted the contents of the report. 1

2 Agenda Item 9 Whistleblowing Policy The Clerk reported that the Whistleblowing Policy had been reviewed and approved by the Joint Union Forum, as well as the College s legal partner. The Whistleblowing Policy will be considered by the Governing Body at its next meeting on 24 th June The minor amendment requested by the Committee had been made to the Whistleblowing Policy. Agenda Item 10 Review of the Anti-Bribery Policy and the Fraud and Corruption Policy The Clerk reported that the Anti-Bribery Policy and the Fraud and Corruption Policy had both been reviewed and approved by the Joint Union Forum, as well as the College s legal partner. Both policies will be considered by the Governing Body at its next meeting on 24 th June The minor amendment requested by the Committee had been made to the Anti-Bribery Policy. Agenda Item 12 (i) Any Other Business: Co-opted Members for the Audit Committee The Clerk reported that one person had expressed interest in the role of Co-opted Member of the Audit Committee and had met with the Clerk, the Chair of the Governing Body and the Principal to discuss the role in more detail. Following the provision of a pen-portrait, the application will be considered by the Search Committee at its meeting on 24 th June (i) Item 11 Future Agenda Items The Clerk gave a verbal report in response to the suggestion at the previous meeting that the Committee could consider in more detail the future development of a Board Assurance Framework. Governors noted that Board Assurance is usually undertaken as an alternative to the system which is utilised by the College: a full-scope Internal Audit service in addition to the services of Financial Statements and Regularity Auditors. The Audit Committee and the Governing Body have affirmed their commitment to this system. To move towards a Board Assurance Framework would require a significant amount of work in a lengthy project. Governors agreed that it was important to identify and review forms of assurance for the College and noted that the Risk Register and Risk Management Action Plan are reviewed on an annual basis. The Clerk noted that the Internal Audit Strategy and Plan would be presented to the September 2014 meeting of the Audit Committee and suggested that both documents should be distributed to all Governors, with a request for comments or suggested review topics. A Governor also suggested that the Internal Auditors could be asked to benchmark the Internal Audit Strategy of the College on an annual basis. Governors agreed that the Internal Audit Strategy and Plan should be sent to all members of the Governing Body for comment. If possible, the documents will be sent out in advance of the September 2014 meeting of the Audit Committee. 2

3 5. Follow Up to Previous Recommendations of the Internal Auditor with Actions Taken The Vice Principal (Strategy & Resources) took Governors through this summary report, which records the implementation of recommendations made by the Internal Audit Team for the year ending 31 st July The Vice Principal (Strategy & Resources) highlighted the following key points: Recommendation number 1: The IT Acceptable Use Policy has been updated to reflect the current stance on software installations. Recommendation number 3: Investigation is on-going with regards to whether the College should follow Microsoft security best practice. In response to a question from the Chair, the Vice Principal (Strategy & Resources) stated that difficulties could arise due to differences in password protocols, possibly leading to unforeseen consequences should Microsoft security best practice be implemented. Governors noted that the IT Manger will present some recommendations to the Corporate Management Team with a decision to be made by July Recommendation number 5: All new assets are now logged and labelled. Existing assets are in the process of registration on the inventory. Recommendation number 6: Mobile Device Management Solutions have been investigated and implemented. Recommendation number 7: The Business Impact Review is on-going. The IT Services Disaster Recovery Plan has been updated in the interim. Governors noted the contents of the report. The Internal Auditor entered the meeting. 6. Reports from the Internal Auditor, Baker Tilly: (i) Student Records Key Controls Classroom Based Provision The Internal Auditor explained that this review considered one aspect of the student records system at the College. The attention of Governors was drawn to section 1.2 Conclusion where it is stated that the review was given a Green rating, the best opinion possible. Taking account of the issues identified, the Governing Body can take substantial assurance that the controls upon which the organisation relies to manage this area are suitably designed and are being consistently applied. The Internal Auditor explained the scope of the report and highlighted the fact that there were no recommendations resulting from the review. With reference to the benchmarking data on Page 3 of the report, the Internal Auditor noted that the College is in the top section of colleges, for this review area. The Principal was asked to commend the MIS Team for their excellent performance. 3

4 (ii) Corporate Governance - Governing Body and Committee Effectiveness The Internal Auditor introduced the report, stating that this area of Corporate Governance had been identified as it had not been previously audited. The Internal Auditor then drew the attention of Governors to section 1.2 Conclusion where it is stated that the review was given a Green rating, the best opinion possible. Taking account of the issues identified, the Governing Body can take substantial assurance that the controls upon which the organisation relies to manage this area are suitably designed and are being consistently applied. There was only one recommendation, rated as a low priority. The recommendation, which was accepted by the College, relates to the need for a documented training plan, to record formally the training that is being provided to Governors. (iii) Risk Management - Student Trips The Internal Auditor presented the report, explaining that the review considered one element of the Risk Register relating to the management of student trips. The attention of Governors was drawn to section 1.2 Conclusion where it is stated that the review was given a Green rating, the best opinion possible. Taking account of the issues identified, the Governing Body can take substantial assurance that the controls upon which the organisation relies to manage this area are suitably designed and being consistently applied. There had been five recommendations in total (four low priority and one medium priority), all of which had been accepted by the College and will be implemented from September The Internal Auditor explained that the Green rating had been assigned to the review due to the fact that none of the recommendations signify a cause for concern, either individually or collectively. The Vice Principal (Strategy & Resources) stated that the College was pleased with the report, as the review relates to a complicated area and the College wishes to ensure that the system is robust. The Principal reiterated the fact that there are a significant number of student trips. The Internal Auditor agreed that any recommendations should take into account the particular context and requirements of the College. In response to a question from the Chair, the Principal stated that it is not practical to have a trained first aider on all College trips, echoing the statement of the Internal Auditor that action with regards to student trips should be proportional and related to a risk assessment. Another Governor asked if work placements utilised by the College are assessed. The Vice Principal (Strategy & Resources) confirmed that this was the case. The Committee noted the reports of the Internal Auditor. 7. Updated Letter of Engagement from the Internal Auditors Governors received the updated Letter of Engagement from the Internal Auditors, Baker Tilly Risk Advisory Services LLP. Governors noted that the 4

5 letter had been produced to formally advise the College of the new company name, with regards to the provision of Internal Audit services. Governors noted that the Internal Audit services currently provided to the College are delivered by a separate limited section within Baker Tilly. Governors also noted that the updated Letter of Engagement also make explicit the duties of the Internal Auditors with regards to the regulatory bodies. The Committee recommended the updated Letter of Engagement from the Internal Auditors for approval by the Governing Body. The Internal Auditor left the meeting. 8. The Appointment of the Internal Auditors and the Financial Statements and Regularity Auditors Following a scrutiny of the tender bids received, the Committee resolved to recommend to the Governing Body the re-appointment of Baker Tilly Risk Advisory Services LLP as Internal Auditors and the re-appointment of Murray Smith LLP as Financial Statements and Regularity Auditors for the period , subject to satisfactory annual performance reviews. A full report will be presented to the June 2014 meeting of the Governing Body. Following the decision of the Governing Body, letters will be sent by the Clerk to all the companies who submitted tender bids. 9. Future Agenda Items As noted under Agenda Item 4, the Internal Audit Strategy and Plan should be circulated to all members of the Governing Body for comment, If possible before the September 2014 meeting of the Audit Committee. Governors will be asked for comments and suggestions with regards to topics of review and future agenda items for the Audit Committee. A Governor asked about ways of measuring staff morale. Governors noted that the results of the Staff Climate Survey are presented to the Personnel & Quality Assurance Committee. In addition, absence data is reported to the Finance, Estates & Marketing Committee and the Personnel & Quality Assurance Committee. 10. Any Other Business None 11. Date of Next Meeting Tuesday 23 rd September The Committee agreed that the September meeting was required. 5

6 12. Election of the Vice Chair of the Audit Committee: 1 st August st July 2016 The Chair invited nominations for Vice Chair of the Committee. Mr Mike Nencini proposed Miss Kath Boullen for Vice Chair of the Audit Committee and this was seconded by Fr Chris McCoy. (Miss Kath Boullen was not present but had confirmed, previously, her willingness to be nominated for election as Vice Chair of the Audit Committee). There were no other nominations. The Chair declared Miss Kath Boullen elected as Vice Chair of the Audit Committee 1 st August st July 2016 nem.com. The meeting ended at 1.45 pm Signed by the Chair:.. On this day:. 6

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