MINUTES OF THE GRANTS PANEL MEETING HELD ON

13th SEPTEMBER 2016 IN THE COMMITTEE ROOM 2, 3 SPILMAN STREET

 

DATE:  14th September 2016

 

PRESENT:

Owen Bowen, Interim Head of Financial Services

Helen Pugh, Audit & Risk Manager

Rhian Phillips, European Programmes Manager

Delyth Thomas, Grants Compliance Officer (GCO)

Simon Davies, Chair of PWG, Education & Children’s Services

Les James, Chair of PWG, Community Services

Julie Owens, Financial Audit Team Leader, Wales Audit Office (WAO)

 

APOLOGIES:

Stuart Walters, Interim Economic Development Manager

Helen Morgan, Interim Economic Development Manager

Alan Howells, Chair of PWG, Environment

 

 

SUBJECT

ACTION

 

 

1.0

 

 

 

2.0

 

 

Minutes of the last meeting

 

·         The minutes were agreed.

 

Matters Arising

 

·         Responses are still outstanding from the chairpersons of the PWGs to the detailed report provided by WAO for the Certification of Grants & Returns 2014/15.  DT to follow up initially and refer any non-responses to OB

 

·         Advice has been provided by the Legal Section on how the Authority should manage document retention in order to meet both the WG and the Authority’s retention requirements.  Each project will need to be considered on a case-by-case basis.  When the Authority’s deadline for document retention has been reached then there is a requirement to contact WG for approval to destroy them.  Email to be sent to the chairpersons of the PWGs and the Group Accountants to take to their respective DMT meetings.

 

·         WAO to arrange a meeting with the GCO to review the Joint Protocol for the Certification of Grant Claims and Returns.  It is intended that the protocol be streamlined before final agreement by the Authority.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OB/DT/

SW/AH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DT

 

 

 

JO/OB

 

 

3.0

 

Wales Audit Office - Update

 

·         An update was received from WAO on the audits of

 grants/returns for the financial year 2015/2016:

 

 

 


 

 

SUBJECT

ACTION

 

 

 

o   The audit of the Pooled Budgets Return to be reviewed and signed off by end of September

 

o   Audit work has started on the Housing Benefit

Return and NNDR Return

 

o   The audit of the Teachers Pension Return and the Communities First Grant Claim is due to commence in October.

 

·         All other grants & returns for 2015/2016 are due to be submitted by the end of September 2016.  WAO to compile a timetable for the audit of each grant/return with an aim to complete all audits by the beginning of December 2016.

 

·         The Certification Instructions that detail the testing requirements for each grant and return have been forwarded by WAO to the GCO.  These have been forwarded to the respective Project Managers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JO

 

 

 

4.0

 

Internal Audit (IA) - Update

 

·         Pembrokeshire County Council (PCC), as the lead Authority on ERW, has not required an audited claim for the Education Improvement Grant (EIG) for the 1st quarter of 2016/2017.  Audited claims are required for the other quarters.

 

·         The audit of the Pupil Deprivation Grant for 2015/16 is due to be completed by end of November 2016.  However, the Authority is still waiting for testing instruction from PCC, being the lead Authority on ERW.

 

·         The audit of the grant for the Regional Co-ordinator for Supporting People is currently with IA.  A meeting is due to be undertaken to start the audit process on the main Supporting People Grant, which is due to be completed by the end of September.

 

·         Final audit reports are still to be issued for the following grants: 

o   Pooled Budgets

o   Major Repairs Allowance

o   NRW Grants – Wales Coastal Path, Rights of Way Improvement Programme & Joint Working Programme

o   Building our Heritage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUBJECT

ACTION

 

 

 

·         Financial Procedures Rules are currently being

redrafted.  Revised draft version to be forwarded to Grants Panel members to provide feedback on any grant related issues.

 

·         Revised Procurement Rules are due to be submitted to CMT and Audit Committee for final sign off.

 

 

 

HP

 

 

5.0

 

 

Project Working Groups – Update

 

·         Minutes of PWG meeting were circulated to Grants Panel members for :

 

o   Community Services – 5/8/16

o   Chief Executives & Corporate Services – 21/3/16

 

·         Chairpersons of each of the PWGs to ensure that all projects are covered within the remit of the PWG meetings with a reminder that feedback to the meetings are made on both revenue and capital projects and cover not only financial information but project progress and output information, where applicable.

 

·         The Grants Register, which records the grant funded projects per service area, for 2016/17 is to be circulated to the chairpersons of the PWGs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chair persons of PWGs

 

 

 

 

 

DT

 

 

6.0

 

Action Plan following LSB Review

 

·         Following the report on the lessons learnt exercise undertaken for the Carmarthenshire Local Service Board (LSB) funded projects an action plan is to be presented in the next meeting

 

 

 

 

RP

 

 

7.0

 

Approval process for the award of grants to Third Parties

 

·         A request to be made to the Assistant Chief Executive to present a report to CMT for consideration, in relation to the approval process of grants awarded to Third Parties in conjunction with the current Third Party Grant TIC Review.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OB

 

 

 

 

SUBJECT

ACTION

 

 

8.0

 

 

Update re projects under New Funding Programmes

 

·         The Authority has submitted applications to the WG

Building for the Future Programme.  Approval is not expected until April 2017.

 

·         The application to Visit Wales for the Pendine Visitor Attractor Project is not expected to be approved  

until April 2017.

 

·         The application to the WG’s Sustainable Management Scheme for the Tywi Valley Cycle way was not successful.

 

·         The first stage of the Business Plan is currently being developed for the Celtic Routes project under the Ireland/Wales Co-operation Programme.  Total project costs are estimated at £1.6m.  The Authority is the lead with three partners in Ireland, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park.  The submission needs to made in Euros and as CCC is the lead, there could be a risk due to possible exchange rate variations when reimbursing the Welsh partners.

 

 

 

 

9.0

 

Grant Income Outstanding (Convergence)

 

·         An email has been sent to PCC in respect of the final grant balance of £7.5k for Materials Efficiency.  The Authority is waiting for a response.

 

·         The Authority is currently in discussion with WEFO in respect of the final grant payment by WEFO for the Property Development Fund project.  The Authority has calculated an underpayment of £11k

 

·         There are outstanding issues that need to be finalised in respect of the Coastal project. Head of Financial Services to review the outstanding issues with the Services manager and the GCO.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SW

 

 

 

 

OB

 


 

 

 

SUBJECT

 

 

 

10.0

 

AOB

 

·         The Grants Register for 2016/2017 was circulated to

members of Grants Panel.

 

·         Themes that have arisen in recent audits are to be quantified for discussion at the next Grants Panel meeting:

o   Method of Property Services Charges

o   Coding Structure in line with grants

o   Signing of contracts/agreements with delivery partners following award of grant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All

 

11.0

 

·         Date of next meeting – 16th November 2016 2:00pm in the Resources Conference Room, County Hall