Committee Members and Attendees

DRAFT Minutes of the Audit and Risk Committee Meeting held on Monday 22 January 2024, 14:00-15:00 via Microsoft Teams


Marie Fallon (MF), Chair
Richard Dixon (RD)
Neil Oakley (NO)
Morag Sheppard (MS)

ESS Team (Items 2 – 10 only): 
Mark Roberts (MR), CEO
Rebecca Peppiette (RP), Head of Corporate Services and Communications
Rebecca Liu, Interim Finance and Accountancy Advisor
Charlotte Lowe (CL), Governance Lead (Minutes)

Internal Audit (IA)
Iain Burns (IB), Senior Internal Audit Manager

1. Welcome and declarations of interest

The Chair welcomed the Committee and attendees to the meeting. There were no declarations of interest.

2. Budget and expenditure update, including 2024/25 Annual Budget

RP provided a verbal update on the ESS team’s activity, including early progress on the 2023/24 annual audit and ongoing engagement with the Scottish Government iTECS team regarding cyber security assurances.

RP presented the update on expenditure against the 2023/24 budget to date. In discussion, the Committee:

  • noted that underspend is decreasing year-on-year due to ESS maturing as an organisation and progress in long-term financial planning
  • approved an in-year increase to the budget allocation associated with ESS’ office move

RP introduced the 2024/25 budget, highlighting confidence across several budget items where costs are known, such as external audit and in-year pay awards. The Committee:

  • recommended mapping budget items across to ESS’ strategic priorities
  • discussed public service reform recommendations and opportunities for ESS to contribute to these
  • approved the budget for review by the Board at its 2 February 2024 meeting

3. Any other business

The Committee recommended updating the risk register to include reference to the ESS Chair stepping down and associated interim measures.

Minutes subject to approval

Marie Fallon

Chair, Environmental Standards Scotland Audit and Risk Committee


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