To receive a report by the Chief Officer Financial Services which presents an external independent review of Leeds City Council’s Internal Audit Service undertaken by Glasgow City Council.
The report provides independent assurances confirming that that the Internal Audit Service conforms with the requirements of the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS).
The Chief Officer Financial Services submitted a report which set out details of an external independent review of Leeds City Council’s Internal Audit Service undertaken by Glasgow City Council. The purpose of the report was to provide independent assurance that the Internal Audit Service conformed with the requirements of the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS).
The Chair introduced and welcomed to the meeting Duncan Black and Jillian Campbell, Audit Services, Glasgow City Council
Addressing the report Mr Black explained the audit function was appropriately positioned within the organisation; independent and objective; trusted; highly regarded by stakeholders; and made a positive contribution to the systems of governance, risk management and internal control.
In terms of the audit opinion, Mr Black said that independent review and sample testing had confirmed that Leeds City Council’s Internal Audit Function conformed with the requirements of the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards.
Commenting on the Stakeholders questionnaire, it was noted that of the 10 questionnaires sent out, only 5 had been completed and returned (50%) Members queried if such a return rate had an impact on the overall opinion.
In responding Mr Black said the rate of return on the Stakeholders questionnaire did not impact on the overall conclusion which was valid based on assessment of supporting evidence. Stakeholder questionnaire provided qualitative assurance and would not affect the overall conclusion. Mr Black undertook to provide details so that the committee’s disappointment could be communicated by the Head of Audit.
Referring to page 14 of the submitted report and the “challenge for Internal Audit going forward in accommodating and managing audits when resources in departments were reducing and their capacity for responding to audit may be reduced”. Members queried if there was any recourse if such issues were not responded to, were auditors proactive in managing the audit plan to provide assurance that work would not be limited as a result of resource issues in future.
The Head of Audit confirmed that auditors were developing liaison arrangements with directorates, to ensure proactive management of the plan. Similarly, work is underway to amend the approach to recommendation tracking to provide assurance that recommendations are all implemented in a timely way.
In response to Member questioning the Head of Audit confirmed that appropriate escalation was available if directorates failed to respond to internal audit; responses would be sought from the hierarchy of the organisation with possibly a report to Members if the response was not satisfactory.
One Members asked if consideration had been given to asking questions outside the normal remit of an audit.
In responding the Chief Officer Financial Services said that the Council has a very modern audit function, auditors were involved in a range of work, including transformation work where colleagues were engaged from the beginning and work alongside providing challenge throughout the process in addition to the traditional review model of audit.
The Chair thanked Mr Black and Ms Campbell for their attendance and contributions.
(i) To receive the Leeds City Council Public Sector Internal Audit Standards External Quality Assessment undertaken by Glasgow City Council
(ii) To note that Leeds City Council’s Internal Audit Service conforms with the requirements of the PSIAS.