By Rodney Gonzalez,2014-05-18 04:28
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     SERVICE: Finance & Asset Management

Internal Audit:

    To provide a continuous audit to the Council’s accounting records and system of internal control in accordance with the Accounts and Audit (Amendment)(England) Regulations 2006 Statutory

    - Within budget but currently experiencing difficulty with the delivery of the Audit Plan due to early maternity leave, sickness, a delay in transferring insurance to Accountancy and the non-achievement of support from Accountancy.

    To assist the Chief Financial Officer in complying with Section 151 of the Local Government Act. Statutory

    - Within budget but difficulty with capacity to support the Section 151 Officer due to difficulties in delivering the Audit Plan. To facilitate the implementation of the Council’s strategic and operational risk registers. Discretionary

    - Within budget but difficulty in progressing during 2006/07 due to changes in the Council’s management structure. Service Delivery Plans have not been re-aligned with Corporate Managers therefore there is difficulty in re-aligning risk responsibilities. A new strategic risk has been identified for the Environmental

    Warranty, Asbestos Liability and Moss Indemnity that have come about as a result of the Housing Transfer.

    To ensure that the Council’s insurance needs are identified and the appropriate insurance cover provided to meet these needs. Discretionary - Within budget and some reduction due to the October renewal premiums being lower as a result of the Housing Transfer. There has been a delay in

    transferring the insurance function to Accountancy due to the recruitment exercise for the Service Manager Financial Services. A new insurance policy has been procured for part of the cover required for the Housing Transfer Environmental Warranty.


    To process claims for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit accurately and promptly, ensuring the people of Macclesfield Borough receive all benefits to which they are entitled Statutory

    - The service is currently within budget and has greatly reduced the time taken to process claims for benefit. The service continues to support the customer centre for Benefits issues, providing much support with shadowing, training and floor-walking.

    Car Parks Management:

    To undertake the operational management of off street car parking including processing of excess charge notices/appeals etc. Discretionary - Income /expenditure figures within budget

    - Continuing use of temporary admin support staff is hampering operational efficiency

    - Staff resource issues in dealing with some car park maintenance items

    To project manage schemes arising from the implementation of the car parking development strategy. Discretionary - Issues arising will be identified as part of the implementation process


    To undertake the operational management of the CCTV Control Room, including monitoring, data storage and retrieval. Includes partnership working with the Police and shop/pub watch members. Discretionary

    - Within budget

    - Currently working on the extension of the CCTV service to Disley and Handforth

    Neighbourhood Wardens:

To undertake partnership working with Police and other agencies on Environmental and anti social behaviour issues. Discretionary

    - Within budget

Engineering Services Unit:

    To undertake the replacement of street nameplates. Discretionary

    - Within budget at present

    To undertake street lighting repairs. Discretionary

    - Within budget at present

    To undertake bus shelter repairs. Discretionary

    - Within budget but insufficient funding to upgrade shelters therefore only emergency repairs carried out. Revenues:

    To maximise the tax base by ensuring all relevant properties are included in the valuation list and that all discounts, exemptions and reliefs are accurately maintained. Statutory

    To collect all the Council Tax due to the Council. Statutory

    To collect all Business Rates due to the Council. Statutory

    To take appropriate action to recover unpaid Council Tax and Business Rate accounts. Statutory - The service is currently within budget and performing well in terms of BVPIs. The Customer Centre draw on resources continues to restrict the capacity of

    the service to perform to optimum levels.

    Accountancy/Financial Services:

    To deliver statutory financial services. Statutory

    - Closure of accounts completed within statutory deadline

    - Annual budget process on target

    - Statutory returns completed within two weeks of deadline

    - Investment income target revised from ?1.3m to ?1.4m due to maximisation of higher interest rates. - Technical Asset Group/Asset Group meeting monthly/quarterly. Draft Capital Programme 2007/08 produced and reported to Cabinet October 2006.

    To deliver financial advice and financial support to service areas. Discretionary

    - Monthly budget comparison reports provided to budget holders within two weeks of month end - Training provided to budget holders and members

    - Assisted collaborative working groups

    To deliver financial services for the Council including Payroll, Creditors, Debtors and Cash. Statutory - Salaries, wages, fees and allowances paid to staff and elected members promptly - Congleton payroll service provided from 1 April 2006

    - Sundry debt accounts raised within 48 hours of receipt

    - Invoices paid within 30 days of receipt (89% Half year) Target 100%

    - Cheshire Peaks and Plains Outstanding debt transferred

    - Implementation of the Payroll SLA to CPP from 17 July 2006

Project Description Performance Update Target Status

    Internal Audit: G 1. Development of robust plan based on Complete and approved by the Finance and Audit Committee. However, see

    Strategic and Operational Risk points below.

2. Developing skills transfer between Internal The approved plan included a difference between the plan and resources R Audit & Accountancy available of 47 days. This shortfall was going to be met by using Accountancy

     staff on audit work. However, Accountancy resource has not been made


     There are a number of other issues that have impacted on Internal Audit’s ability

    to deliver the approved plan, as described below:

    ? management of the Council’s insurance function

    ? non- audit work (SIC, KLOE) that assists Management in the discharge of

    their duties

    ? maternity leave, that has been taken before the estimated leave date

    ? sick leave

    ? budgets being exceeded because of issues that could not have been

    reasonably foreseen when compiling the plan

    In order to meet the requirements of the plan the current structure will need to be

    changed. This will include moving the operational aspects of the insurance

    function to the Accountancy and Financial Services Section.

    These issues have been reported and reviewed by the Finance and Audit


    3. Training management to be able to identify Operational risks are included in Service Delivery Plans. However, they have not A risk and hence their internal control and been realigned to reflect the current structure.

    insurance requirements The 2007/08 Service Delivery Planning process (to be completed by 31 March

    2007) will address this issue. The situation is being monitored by the Finance

    and Audit Committee.


    1. Stock Transfer Conversion of Rent Rebate The transfer of approximately 3,000 claims took place ahead of planned time with G caseload to Rent Allowances reduced costs to those identified. Payments were made on time to claimants and

    Cheshire Peaks and Plains Housing Trust.

2. RAT replacement Implementation of new The replacement to the system took place on the planned date with no disruption

    system for accessing Department for Works to service, with staff trained.

    G and Pensions

    3. Mobile working This is behind due to the recruitment of new staff and the induction and training

     programme. It should be fully operational by the end of the financial year.


     Car Park Management: Completed November 2006 1. Broadway Meadow car park extension 62

    G spaces

     2. Implementation of car parking strategy Develop proposals to secure the construction of a multi-storey car park at Spring G Street, Wilmslow Target date for commencement on site April 2007.

    3. Implementation of car parking strategy Secured a partnership with Cheshire County Council for the implementation of G Decriminalisation and developed a detailed appraisal of decriminalisation

    including an analysis of the financial implications for approval.

     R 4. Implementation of car parking strategy Develop proposals for the delivery of a multi-storey car park in Knutsford.

    CCTV: A 1. Town Hall Security Improvements Completion due March 2007

    2. Handforth Village Centre CCTV Surveillance Completion due March 2007 G Scheme

    3. Disley Village Centre CCTV surveillance Completion due March 2007 G scheme

     Neighbourhood Wardens:

    1. Continue to develop the partnership with the Scheme has been subject to Member review and Wardens to be placed with

    Police and other agencies including Police NPUs to enhance partnership working. 2 staff transferred to Macclesfield rdinformation exchange protocols Police Station, 3 Warden still based at Town Hall due to problems establishing thcomputer links to Knutsford or Wilmslow Police Stations. Current vacancy on 4

    post not to be filled pending a further review of the service in light of Police

    proposals to recruit PCSOs.

    Partnership working enhanced by:

    ? Wardens attend and service 12 community action meetings in

    conjunction with police to identify public priorities on anti social behaviour

    and environmental issues and undertake follow up action to ensure

    remedial action is taken on identified problem areas.

    ? Participate in youth engagement projects with the Police

    ? Undertake school visits on bonfire / firework safety

    ? Undertake ‘Lets Bike’ cycling proficiency scheme with Schools

    ? Involvement in the Police ‘Archangel’ initiative on under age drinking

Engineering Services Unit:

    1. Support to Customer First project Scheme complete and within budget.


2. Information Communication Technology First phase complete (Scripts) but further provision of electronic information (GIS) G and updating delayed due to resource issues.

     R 3. Improved access to Corporate Buildings Priority 1 and 2 works complete with priority 3 complete at 2 leisure centres,

    (DDA) other than Town Hall lift.

     A 4. Middlewood Way and other structures Progress delayed on 2006/07 projects due to resource issues but Tender receipt

    anticipated before end of 2006.

     A Revenues:

    1. Implement paperless direct debits Underway but postponed due to software integration issues. Liaison with

    software supplier continuing in order to resolve problems.


    Underway some slippage due to software issues. Expected to complete 2. Implement e-billing and account view & A December 2006. update facility to customers through website

    3. Review of Single Persons Discount, Small Underway Expected to be completed on target.

    Business Rate Relief and Discounts &


    G Accountancy/Financial Services:

    1. Appointment of new treasury management New contract put in place and savings made on original budget.

    advisors G

    2. Building Control partnership with Congleton Business Plan produced and Partnership approved November 2006.

    and Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council

     G 3. New Sundry Debt Policy Reported to Resources Policy Development Committee and approved by Cabinet

    July 2006.


4. Development of Anite DIP links with E-form (New Index screen combining DIP and Great Plains software) went live

    Creditors - first stage of electronic invoice 15 system implemented A th September 2006. Problems still being experienced due to difficulties in doing

    a comprehensive test before implementation. Staff resource issue.

    PI Description 06/07 06/07 2005/06 Performance Update Ref: Half- Year-Outturn

    Yearly end

    Figure Target

LPI % of CIPFA Code of Practice for 100% To be The review concluded that the internal audit function is broadly

    Aud Internal Audit in Local Government confirmed by compliant with the code and there are only minor improvements

    standards met the Audit required. Internal audit provides a good service and the Audit

     Commission Commission are able to place reliance on the Section’s work.

    The Service Manager Audit has accepted the findings and has

    agreed an action plan with the Audit Commission, the target for

    full implementation of all recommendations is 31 March 2007.

LPI Client Satisfaction Score 70% 87% 84% The managers concerned cannot influence key system work

    Aud because the work is pre-determined in order that the Audit

    Commission can rely on it.

MBC Number of Pay and Display spaces / 305.45 305.45 300.33 Includes completed schemes at Disley, South Drive and

    HW2 10,000 population Broadway Meadow, Wilmslow.

    MBC CCTV Cameras/10,000population 8.54 9.13 8.54 Schemes in progress to be implemented and completed in HW1 second half of the year.

    MBC Number of colour, high resolution PTZ 53 59 53 Schemes in progress to be implemented and completed in HW3 cameras second half of the year.

    LPI Direct Debit payment uptake 72% 73% 70% This is already one of the highest take-up rates in the country Revs and work is continuing to improve performance.

    LPI Arrears collection 34% 55% 53% This LPI is under pressure due to resource issues. Revs

LPI Debt Recovery Now reported quarterly to Cabinet and Performance Monitoring

    Acc Committee.

LPI Payroll Benchmarking ?2.91 ?6.78 ?2.91 Lower than average cost in all categories against comparable

    Acc Average authorities

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