1                                        28 September 2022

HUTT CITY COUNCIL

 

Komiti Iti Ahumoni I Tūraru | Audit and Risk Subcommittee

 

Minutes of a meeting held via audio visual link (Zoom)

Wednesday 28 September 2022 commencing at 4.00pm

 

 

 

PRESENT:

 S Tindal (Independent Chair)

Mayor C Barry (Deputy Chair)

 

Cr J Briggs

Cr S Edwards

 

Cr A Mitchell

Cr N Shaw

 

APOLOGIES:                  There were no apologies.

 

IN ATTENDANCE:        J Miller, Chief Executive

A Blackshaw, Director Neighbourhoods and Communities

J Griffiths, Director of Strategy and Engagement

A Geddes, Director Environment and Sustainability

K Puketapu-Dentice, Director Economy and Development  

J Livschitz, Group Chief Financial Officer

B Cato, Chief Legal Officer (part meeting)

M de Boer, Principal Advisor Strategic Planning & Business

A Leong, Finance Project Manager

D Newth, Financial Accounting Manager

K Eagle, Senior Management Accountant

D Nunnian, Senior Management Accountant

K Davey, Democracy Advisor

V Gilmour, Democracy Administrator

H Clegg, Minute Taker

 

 

PUBLIC BUSINESS

 

1.       APOLOGIES

 There were no apologies.

2.       PUBLIC COMMENT

Comments are recorded under the item to which they relate.

3.       CONFLICT OF INTEREST DECLARATIONS    

There were no conflict of interest declarations.      


 

4.       Recommendation to Council | Komiti Iti Ahumoni I Tūraru    4 October 2022

 

Hutt City Council Group Annual Report 2021/22 (22/2233)

 

John Whittal, the Audit Director, Audit NZ was present for the item.

Speaking under public comment, Max Shierlaw expressed disappointment that Council had not achieved several key performance indicators (KPI’s). He requested the covering page of the Draft Annual Report contain an apology. He expressed concern that less than half of the city’s residents felt they had enough information to vote in the upcoming local elections.

The Director of Strategy and Engagement elaborated on the report. he advised that the deadline for adoption of the annual report had been extended to December 2022. He noted the report highlighted the impacts of COVID-19.

John Whittal advised the Audit NZ team had started work at the Council last week, and they were prioritising key risks. He advised comments relating to the Wellington Water Limited (WWL) Annual Report were due in the next few weeks.The Group Chief Financial Officer advised officers welcomed the early advice concerning the WWL Annual Report. She said officers were working closely with Audit NZ.

In response to questions from members, the Group Chief Financial Officer advised an actuarial assessed amount of money was allocated to the landfill aftercare funding. She added that rising interest rates had impacted the item and it was reviewed annually. She further advised that new accounting policy requirements had resulted in adjustments to the financial statements.

In response to a question from a member, the Director of Strategy and Engagement advised other regional local authorities were experiencing different performances to previous years. He noted the impact of COVID-19 on the workforce, contractors and service delivery. He confirmed that other local authorities had experienced a drop in resident satisfaction levels.

The Chair noted that in her professional capacity, she had observed a nationwide trend in a drop in the number of KPI’s being met by organisations, due to workforce and supply chain issues. She believed that Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) and Audit NZ would mention this trend in reporting.  

 

 

Recommended: (Ms Tindal/Cr Shaw)                                   Minute No. ARSC 22401

“That the Subcommittee recommends that Council endorses the adoption of the Group Annual Report for the year ended 30 June 2022 (attached as Appendix 1 to the report), subject to satisfactory resolution of the following outstanding items:

(a)     completion of final design and minor editorial changes;

(b)     completion of the external audit and any adjustments required; and

(c)      receipt of final audit clearance from Audit NZ.”

For the reason of meeting legislative requirements and to inform and engage with the community

 

5.

Payroll tax compliance evaluation update (22/2264)

Report No. ARSC2022/4/14 by the Finance Project Manager

 

The Financial Project Manager elaborated on the report.

The Chair commended officers on their work.

 

Resolved: (Ms Tindal/Cr Briggs)                                                 Minute No. ARSC 22402

“That the Subcommittee notes the closure of the 14 evaluation recommendations attached as Appendix 1 to the report.”

 

6.

ComplyWith (22/2271)

Report No. ARSC2022/4/193 by the Legal Co-ordinator

 

The Chief Executive provided a verbal update on an item that had arisen since the agenda was published. She advised the Ombudsman’s report into the handling of a complaint received from a councillor, had been received. She said the report upheld all of  Council’s actions on each item raised by the councillor concerned.  She noted the initial Independent Investigator’s report was supported by the Ombudsman. She advised the report was available on the Ombudsman’s and Council’s websites.

The Chair advised she had received a copy of the Ombudsmans report as it related to an open matter of outstanding risk. She said she had provided professional advice and guidance on the matter.

In response to questions from members, the Chief Executive advised no further action in the matter was anticipated by Council. She said members of the public should be directed to the Ombudsman’s or Council’s website to access the report. She confirmed the incoming council would be briefed on the Code of Conduct (the Code) including the legal implications and individual members obligations under the Code.

The Mayor acknowledged the professionalism and integrity of the majority of Council when dealing with the matter.

The Chief Legal Officer elaborated on the report. 

The Chair observed there had been a high number of respondents to the ComplyWith legal compliance survey. She noted a high number of issues had been resolved. She recommended the survey continue.

In response to a question from a member, the Chief Legal Officer advised there were several red items which were proving difficult to resolve. The Chair added that ComplyWith was part of the process to embed risk management frameworks within the organisation. The Chief Executive advised that the item relating to resource consents was regularly reported to the Infrastructure and Regulatory Committee and officers were committed to transparent reporting.

In response to a question regarding the disposal of animal carcasses, the Chief Legal Officer advised the actual process was not in question. He said ComplyWith had highlighted that a little known Act required Ministerial permission to dispose of animal carcasses, he added a process had begun to obtain that consent. 

 

Resolved: (Ms Tindal/Cr Briggs)                                             Minute No. ARSC 22403

“That the Subcommittee notes the contents of the report which details the key results of the ComplyWith legal compliance survey namely:

the second survey recorded 49 non-compliances, out of which 17 are already resolved; and  the remaining 32 joins the 12 unresolved Corrective Actions from the previous survey, bringing the total number of outstanding Corrective Actions to 44 as of 15 September 2022.”

7.       Information Items

a)

Hutt City Council Three Waters Growth Study 2022 (22/2314)

Report No. ARSC2022/4/160 by the Strategic Advisor

 

The Chief Executive elaborated on the report. She said members would be kept informed of the results of ongoing meetings with Wellington Water Ltd (WWL). She said this concerned any risks arising from the requirements highlighted in the Study.

In response to a question from a member, the Chief Executive advised a complete briefing for the new Council would be held in January 2023.

 

Resolved: (Ms Tindal/Cr Mitchell)                                Minute No. ARSC 22404

“That the report be noted and received.”

 

b)

Petone Wharf Update (22/2319)

The Director Neighbourhoods and Communities presented a verbal update on the Petone wharf project. She explained that officers continued to work with contractors and that a full update would be provided for the new Council.

8.       QUESTIONS

There were no questions received.

 

The Chair said it had been a privilege to work with all members and officers during the current triennium. She acknowledged Council’s decision to engage an independent chair for the subcommittee She stated that it was an important governance decision which provided independent guidance, rigour and external advice to decision making. 

 

Members acknowledged the Chair for her professionalism, leadership, clear and timely advice and focus on embedding risk management throughout all parts of Council. Members thanked the Chair for the use of her knowledge. They noted it had added value to the decision making process and assisted Council in its journey to shift the culture of the organisation to being more transparent.

 

There being no further business the Chair declared the meeting closed at 5.00pm.

 

 

 

J Miller                                                                                                           S Tindall

CHIEF EXECTUIVE                                                                                     CHAIR