Greenwich Council

Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber - Town Hall, Wellington Street, Woolwich SE18 6PW. View directions

Contact: Jasmine Kassim  Email: jasmine.kassim@royalgreenwich.gov.uk tel 020 8921 5146

Items
No. Item

1.

Apologies for Absence

To receive apologies for absence from Members of the Panel.

Minutes:

An apology for absence was received on behalf of Councillor Olu Babatola.

2.

Urgent Business

The Chair to announce any items of urgent business circulated separately from the main agenda.

Minutes:

There was no urgent business.

3.

Declarations of Interest pdf icon PDF 50 KB

Members to declare any personal and financial interests in items on the agenda.  Attention is drawn to the Council’s Constitution; the Council’s Code of Conduct and associated advice.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That the list of Councillors’ memberships as Council appointed representatives on outside bodies, joint committees and school governing bodies be noted.

4.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Members are requested to confirm as an accurate record the Minutes of the Pension Fund Investment and Administration Panel meeting held on 18 June 2018 [To follow].

 

No motion or discussion may take place upon the Minutes except as to their accuracy, and any question on this point will be determined by a majority of the Members of the body attending who were present when the matter in question was decided.  Once confirmed, with or without amendment, the person presiding will sign the Minutes.

Minutes:

Resolved -

 

That the minutes of the meeting of the Pension Fund Investment & Administration Panel held on 18 June 2018, be agreed and signed as a true and accurate record.

5.

Pension Fund Statement of Accounts 2017/18 - Audit Findings Report pdf icon PDF 77 KB

The Panel to review and comment upon the contents of the Auditor’s Audit Findings Report in respect of the Pension Fund Accounts, attached as Appendix A.

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report was introduced by Emily Mckeown and Paul Dossett, representatives on behalf of Grant Thornton, the Council’s external auditor.

 

The Board noted the report, and that it was related only to those matters identified for testing during the conduct of the external audit procedures for the purpose of expressing an opinion on the Council’s financial statements. 

 

In response to questions raised, the representatives confirmed to the Board that the audit testing procedures had been completed, and there the findings showed no risks to the Council’s financial standing.  However, although investigations highlighted more active users on the system than the actual numbers, the actuarial fedback that the irregularities had no impact on the calculations of the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s (Royal Borough) Pension Fund (the Fund) accounts.

 

The representatives continued responding to questions raised, reiterating that the Royal Borough had signed into the public sector audit scheme.  Thus, the audit fees paid by the Royal Borough had been set by the regulator, and that was similar across London boroughs.  However, should a particular audit proved to be problematic, the fees would likely change to reflect the volume of work required, and the Royal Borough have to seek approval from the regulator in that regard. 

 

The Assistant Director of Finance & S151 Officer added that it had been considered that in the future, the regulator would be undertaking the tendering process in regards to external auditors’ contract.

 

The Panel

 

Resolved –

 

That the contents of the Auditor’s Audit Findings in respect to the Pension Fund Accounts attached as Appendix A to the report, be noted.

6.

The Pension Fund Annual Report 2018/17 pdf icon PDF 57 KB

The Panel to consider and comment upon the Pension Fund Annual Report 2017/18, attached as Appendix 1 to this report.  The Panel to note that the Annual Report will be published upon receipt of the Audit Opinion following Council meeting on 18 July 2018.

 

 

 

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The report in relation to the Pension Fund (the Fund) Annual Report 2017/18 was introduced by the Acting Finance Manager.

 

The Panel noted the report, and that it demonstrated investment and policy implementation in relation to the Fund’s performance during the period.

 

In response to questions raised, the Acting Finance Manager advised the Panel that the decrease in investment income were due to the restructuring of the portfolios. The fund no longer have a segregated mandate in equity; thus, do not show investment income separately, but form part of the pooled valuation. Furthermore, the London CIV and other external investment managers would have policies on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG). The Fund would review these to form part of a report on the Fund’s ESG policy. Which will be propose on the ‘away day’ with Panel Members.  The Panel also received confirmation that the recent valuation of property in regards to the Fund’s freehold investment in the New Lydenburg Industrial Estate had increased from £1.85m to £2.2m.

 

The Chair, Councillor Peter Brooks to the Panel that the Royal Borough was supportive of a motion that recognised trade union representation onto the London CIV.

 

The Panel

 

Resolved –

 

That the Pension Fund Annual Report 2017/18, attached to the report as Appendix 1, be noted.

7.

Annual report from the Pension Board pdf icon PDF 58 KB

The Panel to note the annual report of the Pension Board (‘the Board’) for 2017/18 (attached as Appendix A to this report).

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Board received the report introduced by the Acting Finance Manager, and it

 

Resolved –

 

That the annual report of the Pension Board for 2017/18, attached to the report as Appendix A, be noted.

8.

Training - Accounting and Auditing Standards pdf icon PDF 39 KB

The Panel to receive training from Blackrock on Financial Markets and Product Knowledge.

 

Minutes:

Resolved –

 

That it be noted that the Panel received Training on Financial Markets and Product Knowledge.