To consider a report by the Chief Officer Financial Services which provides a summary of the Internal Audit activity for the period June to August 2020 and highlight the incidence of any significant control failings or weaknesses.
The Chief Officer, Financial Services submitted a report which provided a summary of the Internal Audit activity for the period June to August 2020 and to highlight any significant failings or weaknesses.
Addressing the report the Head of Audit explained that 12 reports had been issued in the reporting period, and that the Counter Fraud team also continued to ensure both proactive and reactive work continued as normal.
The Head of Internal Audit explained that the review undertaken in respect of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) was a follow up, but had limited assurance as management had been awaiting the introduction of new regulations pending their response. However management were now responding positively and putting measures in place to address concerns.
Referring to paragraph 3.8 of the submitted report “Management had responded positively to the follow up audit and would provide updates to their Directorate Leadership Team” Members queried how often updates would be provided.
In responding the Head of Audit explained that good liaison had been established with the Directorate Leadership Team and that update were provided on a quarterly basis. She undertook to provide further information in relation to the briefing of the Executive Member.
In relation to IR35 Legislation (Central Controls and Directorate Reviews) the Head of Audit explained that the review was a full review of central controls, which had improved, but that controls in directorates had not improved sufficiently. Since conclusion of the review, the Head of Audit reported, that there was now good engagement with the Adults and Health directorate which would enable learning across the Council. The Head of Audit explained IR35 was paid either by invoice or payroll and it would be for the HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) to seek outstanding payments via the local authority.
The Head of Audit explained how the service was working to ensure that audit and risk concerns were incorporated into the design of the core service review work being undertaken.
Members requested information in relation to the breakdown of open referrals in relation to reactive counter fraud work passed to directorates, and asked whether any issues had emerged in relation to Covid-19. The Head of Audit undertook to provide further information.
Members noted that the review in relation to the the Flood Alleviation Scheme was in progress and requested an update. Members were informed that an update would be provided in the next update report to Committee
Members referred to Paragraph 4.3.3 of the submitted report and the statement that Internal Audit would consider the Climate Emergency in the development of Annual Internal Audit Plans. The Head of Audit confirmed that the climate emergency is considered in developing the risk based plan.
The Chair suggested that it may be beneficial for Internal Audit to review the Climate Emergency target (Medium Term Plan) to ensure the Council was moving in the right direction.
(i) To receive the Internal Audit Update Report covering the period from June to August 2020 and note the work undertaken by Internal Audit during the period covered by the report.
(ii) To note that there have been no limitations in scope and nothing had arisen to compromise the independence of Internal Audit during the reporting period.