To consider the report of the Chief Officer (Financial Services) which provides a source of assurance that the internal control environment is operating as intended through a summary of the Internal Audit activity for the period from December 2021 to February 2022. The report highlights 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 December 2021 to February 2022.
The report provided assurance that the internal control environment is operating as intended through a summary of the Internal Audit activity during that period and also highlighted the incidence of any significant control failings or weaknesses.
The report also included information relating to the monitoring of urgent decisions to enable timely consideration of these matters by Committee as agreed following consideration of the annual decision-making assurance report at the meeting held 30th July 2021. 6 audit reports (excluding external work) during the period from 1st December 2021 to 28th February 2022.
The Senior Audit Manager presented the report, highlighting the following key issues:
· The changes made to the Internal Audit Plan 2021/22 and work undertaken to analyse priorities, including the external sources of assurance which could be used for evaluation purposes.
· Delivering on priorities with the resources available will ensure the Council is in a better place to implement the Audit Plan 2022/23.
· The outcome of an audit of the Data Protection Impact Assessments processes.
· Where available, more information on the outcomes following audit work and recommendation tracking had been included in the report with plans to include feedback from departments in future reports.
During discussions the Committee focused on the following matters:
· Reasons for the removal of the audit work in respect of Children and Families Commissioning from the 21/22 Audit Plan – noting that a new post had been introduced to review the joint LCC & NHS commissioning and the impact of the forthcoming implementation of the new West Yorkshire Integrated Care System.
· Reasons for the removal of the audit work in respect of Housing Disrepair Services from the 21/22 Audit Plan – noting that no major issues had been found during the previous audit a watching brief would monitor the Disrepair service. The Directorate had requested assurance on Housing Voids which had therefore assumed priority over the Disrepair Service.
· A request for more detail on DPIA findings for each Directorate.
· In respect of CSQ returns, one member queried the reference to external. The Senior Audit Manager advised that this referred to organisations where LCC provided an audit service through a contractual obligation and it was vital to receive feedback from them.
· In respect of the crisis in Ukraine, no specific audit work was being undertaken currently, however work is being undertaken to support a project looking at the systems in place to make payments to sponsors of refugees fleeing the conflict. Additionally a review of risks in relation to Ukrainian refugees was being undertaken by the Intelligence and Policy Manager.
In conclusion the Committee received assurance that a satisfactory annual audit opinion would still be delivered for the 2021/22 year given the work undertaken using all the appropriate assurances available.
a) To receive the Internal Audit Update Report covering the period from December 2021 to February 2022 and note the work undertaken by Internal Audit during the period covered by the report;
b) To note that there have been no limitations in scope and nothing has arisen to compromise the independence of Internal Audit during the reporting period.
c) To receive the report providing information relating to the Monitoring of Urgent Decisions covering the period December 2021 to February 2022.