This page gives details of any meetings held which will, or did, discuss the matter, and includes links to the relevant Papers, Agendas and Minutes.
Note: Meeting Agenda can change at short notice. Particularly where future meeting dates are indicated more than a week in advance. Please check before planning to attend a Committee Meeting that the item you are interested in has not been moved.
ACARAC Minutes November meeting
The minutes of the November ACARAC meeting were noted.
ACARAC minutes June and July meetings
Commissioners noted the information about the ACARAC meetings which had taken place in June and July.
Assembly Commission Audit and Risk Assurance Committee Annual Report 2017-18
Eric Gregory, Chair of ACARAC, introduced the Committee’s Annual Report, in accordance with ACARAC’s terms of reference. He commented on a number of aspects of the Committee’s experience over the previous year. In particular he highlighted the Commission’s excellent record of acting on Internal Audit recommendations, robust risk management and the agile approach to managing projects involving users in developing systems.
Commissioners commented on the good, clear governance statement in the Commission’s Annual Report and Accounts following the Chief Executive’s first year in post, and the positive impact on readability of the new style of annual report.
Commissioners noted the ACARAC Annual Report, which will be published by the Committee.
ACARAC minutes April 2018
Commissioners noted the minutes of the 23 April ACARAC meeting.
Commissioners noted the minutes of the 5 February 2018 ACARAC meeting.
ACARAC - Minutes of 27 November meeting
ACARAC update and draft Minutes of 18 July meeting
ACARAC Draft Minutes of 19 June 2017
The draft minutes of the ACARAC meeting of 19 June 2017 were noted.
Annual Report of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee
The Chair of the Assembly’s Audit and Risk Assurance Committee attended the meeting to present the Committee’s Annual Report. This was timed to support finalisation of the accounts and the governance statement. He reported that it had been a good year, with the Committee not needing to make any major recommendations.
He did highlight that one issue had been raised in the previous week by the WAO, in relation to an historic matter linked to the AGW’s remuneration arrangements, which had been dealt with in July 2016.
Commissioner also asked questions relating to cyber security, and supported plans to continue awareness raising, particularly amongst AMs and their staff.
Commissioners welcomed the positive contribution made by ACARAC and noted the ACARAC Annual Report.
The Minutes of the ACARAC meeting of 20 March were noted.
Minutes of ACARAC meeting 6 February
Commissioners noted the minutes of the ACARAC meeting of 6 February.
Update on ACARAC meeting 6 February
The Assembly Commission Audit and Risk Assurance Committee met on 6 February. Commissioners were provided with an update.
Detail included the Committee’s satisfaction with the professional job being done on Internal Audit; cyber security and the work being done to strengthen this; the new finance system; and a ‘deep dive’ into issues around accommodation. ACARAC members had also participated in a special session with Roger Scully, considering issues relating to Brexit, the Wales Act and capacity of the Assembly.
ACARAC minutes 21 November meeting
Commissioners noted the minutes of the ACARAC meeting of 21 November.
Update on ACARAC meeting 21 November
The Assembly Commission Audit and Risk Assurance Committee met on 21 November. Suzy Davies had attended the meeting as portfolio holder, and the Commission were updated.
Detail included: the Committee’s receipt of four formal internal audit reviews; the Wales Audit Office advising that there were no outstanding issues from the 2015-16 audit of the Assembly’s accounts, which had run smoothly thanks to the approach and co-operation of officials; reference to the development of the new finance system; and the SIRO Annual Report.
Paper to note: Audit and Risk Assurance Committee Minutes 11 July
The Minutes of the ACARAC meeting of 11 July were noted.
Audit and Risk Assurance Committee Annual Report
Eric Gregory was invited to present the Commission and the Accounting Officer with the ACARAC Annual Report.
Commissioners particularly discussed the recommendation from the ACARAC effectiveness review regarding developing relationships between the two bodies. Suzy Davies, the Commission member of ACARAC, will keep the Commission updated regularly about the activities of the Committee.
The Commission noted the ACARAC Annual Report.
Audit and Risk Assurance Committee - minutes of meeting 8 February
Audit Committee oral update 16/11/15
The Assembly Commission Audit and Risk Assurance Committee had met on 16 November. Commissioners were provided with an update.
The Committee had been presented with reports on Public Engagement and Audit Quality Assurance/CPD, and had acknowledged the strength of Commission work on engagement stressing how important it is to the success of the Assembly. Committee members had also considered the WAO plan for 2015-16.
Audit and Risk Assurance Committee update and Minutes - 9 July 2015
The Deputy Presiding Officer provided the Commission with an update about the most recent Assembly Commission Audit and Risk Assurance Committee meeting, which had taken place on 9 July.
He detailed that the main purpose of the meeting had been to agree the final draft of the Annual Report and Statement of Accounts. The committee felt that the Annual Report was an impressive, comprehensive document, and welcomed the final outturn figure of a 0.1% underspend.
The Commission noted the minutes.
Assembly Commission Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ACARAC) Annual Report
The Audit and Risk Assurance Committee presents its annual report to the Commission each year. Eric Gregory, as Chair of the Committee, presented the Annual Report for 2014-15 to Commissioners and highlighted key areas that the Committee had focussed on during the year. He also gave an outline of the areas the Committee intend to focus on in the year ahead.
Commissioners asked about a recent issue that had been raised by the WAO in relation to the recording of AMSS leave in the Commission accounts. They supported the position that had been taken by officials.
Commissioners commented as to how valuable it is to have input from the Commission’s independent advisors, and that they find the external perspective most useful.
The Commission noted the annual report.
Paper to note - Draft Audit and Risk Assurance Committee minutes 8 June 2015
The Audit and Risk Assurance Committee minutes from the meeting on 8 June were noted.
Audit and Risk Assurance Committee oral update 8/6/15
David Melding updated Commissioners on the most recent meeting of ACARAC. Three papers had been discussed:
• Internal Audit Annual Report,
• Internal Audit Quality Assessment Framework, and
• Internal Audit Annual Report on Fraud.
ACARAC members had praised the way in which internal audit work was being conducted, especially the engagement levels across the Commission and the external relationships that have been formed with colleagues in other public sector organisations.
The substantive item of the meeting was the draft Annual Report and Statement of Accounts. The report had been well received, and some improvements suggested.
The Committee had reviewed the Corporate Risk Register and Dave Tosh updated them on a Business Continuity exercise that had been run recently.
Sulafa Thomas had presented a paper to provide the Committee with the opportunity to examine, and discuss, the preparatory work for the Fifth Assembly Transition.
Audit Committee minutes 20/4/15
The Audit and Risk Assurance Committee minutes from the meeting on 20 April were noted.
Audit Committee oral update 20/4/15
David Melding updated Commissioners on the most recent meeting of ACARAC. Three audit reports had been presented:
• Review of the appointment of Expert Advisers to Committees. Recommendations focused on updating guidance, clear mechanism to identify and deal with conflicts of interest and clear evaluation of performance;
• Value for Money. The audit identified that the Assembly Commission had a well-developed VfM culture that is embedded throughout the organisation. Further work was necessary around identifying and recording non-financial VfM activities.
• Review of the Assembly Commission’s Project Management Arrangements. The committee supported the approach being taken.
• ACARAC approved the Internal Audit Charter for 2015-16 which formally defines the purpose, authority and responsibility of Internal Audit.
Gareth Watts (Head of Internal Audit) had reported that he had successfully completed all planned activity for the 2014-15 Internal Audit programme, and the Committee approved the annual report. It will be presented to the Commission by Eric Gregory, the Chair of the Committee, at the July meeting.
The Committee had reviewed the Corporate Risk Register and discussed constitutional change, particularly to ensure that everything possible is being done to influence and be prepared for future changes. The Committee praised the Commission’s approach and the quality of work. They suggested further sources of independent challenge which Anna Daniel will explore.
Audit and Risk Assurance Committee update and Minutes - 9 February 2015
Claire Clancy provided a summary of the Assembly Commission Audit and Risk Assurance Committee meeting on 9 February, which was the last meeting of that Committee before the financial year end.
The Chair of the Committee had been able to confirm that all outstanding audit action points had been completed before the end of the financial year, and the Committee looked ahead to the coming year’s activity.
Commissioners welcomed the work that had been done and formally noted the minutes of the meeting.
Audit and Risk Assurance Committee Minutes - 10 November 2014
Commissioners noted the Minutes of the 10 November ACARAC meeting, having received an oral update about this meeting in December.
Audit and Risk Assurance Committee 10 November
Commissioners welcomed the strong role and assurance being provided by the Assembly Commission Audit and Risk Assurance Committee following an update on the latest meeting provided by Claire Clancy.
Audit and Risk Assurance Committee update from 7 July meeting
The Assembly Commission Audit and Risk Assurance Committee had met that day. Claire Clancy provided an update on the matters discussed at the meeting.
The Wales Audit Office had reported on the Assembly Commission’s annual accounts and the Auditor General for Wales would be signing these off with an unqualified opinion. The WAO had identified the HR and payroll project as an area for further attention, and the committee was satisfied that there was sufficient scrutiny of the project.
The audit and review of Members’ allowances, which included the recruitment of support staff, had shown no issues of concern.
The Committee had concluded that the accounts could be signed by the Chief Executive.
Paper to note - Audit and Risk Assurance Committee - Minutes of 9 June
The minutes of the Audit and Risk Assurance committee meeting of 9 June were noted.
ACARAC Annual report
The Assembly Commission Audit and Risk Assurance Committee must present an Annual Report of its activities to the Commission each year. The Chair of the committee since the start of the year, Eric Gregory, presented the annual report and highlighted the following:
· the committee had put in place some new arrangements to strengthen its work, including enhancing corporate risk management arrangements and reviewing its own effectiveness within the year;
· the committee had found that the Commission’s overall risk and governance arrangements were very strong and that there was effective alignment of strategic goals and objectives with activities and projects;
· the ICT Futures work had been an exemplar change programme, managed with clear objectives and strong oversight, governance and planning within the organisation, including by the Commission;
· work on value for money had put the Commission in a positive position; and
· the Commission’s internal audit function was working extremely well with the new Head of Internal Audit making significant progress.
Areas of focus for the committee during the forthcoming year would include:
· embedding the lessons learned from the HR and Payroll project;
· the review of the performance management system for Commission staff;
· the regular review of the corporate risk register;
· business continuity plans; and
· reviewing of the overall assurance framework and making sure the new arrangements for ICT are delivering the benefits anticipated.
Commissioners thanked Eric for his work with the committee during the year and his contribution to the meeting. It was agreed that the Commission should find more opportunities to discuss the committee’s work in future.
Audit and Risk Assurance Committee update
meeting of 9 June - oral
Claire Clancy provided a summary of the Assembly Commission Audit and Risk Assurance Committee meeting on 9 June. The following matters had been discussed:
- Internal audit activity report, including working information governance and business continuity.
- The Committee’s annual report and accounts.
- Corporate risks.
- The Commission’s developing approach to programme management.
The Chair of the Committee would attend the July Commission meeting to present the Committee’s Annual Report.
Paper to note - Draft Minutes of 7 April Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (not yet approved)
The minutes of the meeting were formally noted.
Audit and Risk Assurance Committee - 7 April meeting update
Claire Clancy provided a summary of the Assembly Commission Audit and Risk Assurance Committee meeting on 7 April. The following matters had been discussed.
The Committee members were content with the work on internal Audit and developments that had been made since the appointment of Gareth Watts as Head of Internal Audit. A new joint working protocol with the Wales Audit Office had been finalised and the completed audit reports covering Corporate Improvement, Data Analytics and the final business readiness review report for the ICT Futures project were considered.
The Committee reviewed the corporate risk register and considered in detail risks and mitigating actions around the ICT Futures project.
The Chair of the Committee, Eric Gregory, would present the Committee’s Annual Report to the Commission in July.
The minutes of the meeting were formally noted.
Paper to note - Draft Minutes of 3 February Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ACARAC)
The minutes were formally noted.
Update from 3 February Assembly Commission's Audit and Risk Assurance Committee (ACARAC)
Angela Burns gave an oral update on discussions by the Assembly’s Audit and Risk Assurance Committee at its meeting on 3 February. Eric Gregory had taken over as Chair and this was his first meeting in that role.
The Committee had discussed business continuity planning and were satisfied with progress being made in this area following a review in October 2013. Work was being carried out in relation to the performance of the facilities management contract and the Committee discussed the corporate risks linked to the Official Languages Scheme.
The Wales Audit Office had provided their Audit Outline for the accounts for 2013-14, which had identified nothing unusual. As part of normal audit assurances provided for Members’ pay and allowances the WAO would sample audit records of payments to AMSS.
Paper to note - Draft Audit Committee minutes 7 November 2013
Commissioners formally noted the minutes of the Assembly Commission Audit Committee meeting on 7 November 2013.
Audit Committee Annual Report
paper 7 & annexes
The Assembly Commission Audit Committee Annual Report 2012-13 was being presented to the Commission for noting, in accordance with the Committee’s Terms of Reference.
The report recorded the fact that overall assurance levels with the Commission were strong but that there are still areas for greater efficiency and effectiveness in the exercise and management of controls. Particular attention would be paid to these areas in 2013-14.
Of particular interest to Commissioners were business continuity and contract management but it was noted that assurance levels were high.
Commissioners noted the Annual Report and that the Auditor General for Wales had signed the Commission’s Accounts that week.
Audit Committee - Feedback from 13 June and 4 July
paper 6a & b
Commissioners noted the minutes of both Audit Committee meetings.
Audit Committee 18 April
The minutes of the 18 April Audit Committee were noted.
Commissioners received a verbal update on matters discussed at the 13 June Audit Committee including confirmation of the level of assurance on the accounts for 2012-13 and a brief discussion of the internal audit plans for the forthcoming year
Feedback from Audit Committee 18/4
The minutes of the 18 April Audit Committee were not yet available. Angela Burns AM gave a verbal update of matters discussed at the meeting, including independent assurance of the ICT future stratey programme, which would be managed by the Assembly’s Director of Finance.
Paper to note - Draft Audit Committee minutes 21 February
The minutes were noted.
Feedback from 21 February Audit Committee (oral item)
Angela Burns AM provided an oral update on the Assembly Commission Audit Committee meeting that had been held the previous week. The Committee had discussed the Value for Money programme and the efficiency savings that had been achieved, and were supportive of the Commission’s ongoing work in this area, noting that a workshop for relevant staff had been arranged to continue to strengthen this work.
Audit Committee had questioned the ‘low’ residual risk rating for the risk relating to future ICT changes.
Commissioners noted that Lynne Flux and Ian Summers would be leaving the Assembly and expressed their thanks for their valuable and high quality work on governance and audit.
Item to note - Minutes of Assembly Commission Audit Committee 21 November
Feedback from Audit Committee (Oral update)
Angela Burns said that two of the new Independent Advisers had attended the meeting of the Audit Committee on 21 November. Correspondence from the Wales Audit Office on our end year accounts had been extremely positive which illustrated the strength of the organisation. The Committee noted that they would continue to monitor work on business continuity, information security and procurement / contract management.
Paper to note - Audit Committee minutes
The Commission received an oral update at the Commission meeting on 12 July, but the minutes were not available at that meeting for agreement. The Commission noted the minutes.
3 Assembly Commission Audit Committee Annual Report
The Annual Report of the Assembly Commission Audit Committee for the financial year 2011-12 was presented to the Commission to note. The Audit Committee is required to provide the Commission and Accounting Officer with an Annual Report summarising its work within the year, at the same time as the annual accounts of the Commission are laid before the Assembly.
The report records the fact that the Committee considers that overall assurance levels within the Commission are good and notes that there is scope for further improvement in some areas and for greater efficiency in the exercise and management of controls. The Committee will continue to pay attention to these areas in 2012-13 and ensure that the internal audit programme supports this.
Commissioners noted the report.
Claire Clancy gave a verbal briefing following the Audit Committee meeting on 5 July and confirmed that the Audit Committee had recommended that the Commission’s annual accounts should be signed by her as Accounting Officer. This had been done and it was expected that they would be signed by the Auditor General for Wales and laid within the next few days.
4 Feedback from last Audit Committee (19 April 2012)
For good governance, the Commission receives a report from the Assembly Commission Audit Committee, and discussed the minutes of the Assembly Commission Audit Committee held in April.
Commissioners focused on the findings of Internal Audit Report on Budgetary Control and Financial Management processes, and the need for a greater awareness of value for money and efficiency improvements across the whole organisation.
7 Paper to note - Assembly Commission Audit Committee annual report
The annual report was noted.