The report of the Head of Audit 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 June to August 2022.
The report of the Head of Audit provided a source of assurance that the internal control environment was operating as intended through a summary of the internal Audit activity for the period from June to August 2022. The report highlighted the incidence of any significant control failings or weaknesses.
Responding to questions from Members the Committee were provided with the following information:
· Recommendation Tracking – Members were advised this was the first time this new process had been used to track the implementation of high and medium priority recommendations raised within audit reports. The work was a key part to helping to understand where controls had been strengthened following audits and also highlighting areas where Internal Audit may wish to re-visit to ensure actions were being progressed appropriately. Members were informed that the onus is on the directorate or service leads to update the trackers. It was acknowledged that further engagement was necessary, and it would be important to keep promoting this process to ensure accurate information was provided to analyse and report on progress. The Committee requested indicative information on how long recommendations had been overdue. Internal Audit said this would be looked at for future reports to the Committee. Members were advised that there were currently no concerns in relation to suggested high priority recommendations. It was noted that Internal Audit were working on an escalation process which would feedback to the service and Members and would be brought to the Committee if there were any concerns.
· Access to documents by members of the public – Members were advised that the draft statement of accounts must be put on public deposit for a public inspection period of 30 days each year, during which time the public can ask questions or make objections to the auditors. For the 2021/22 accounts this had happened during August and early September, and it was noted there had been no formal queries or objections this year. Members of the public are also able to put in a Freedom of Information (FOI) request for the Council’s accounts or for any service area in the Council. Contracts over £500 are published on the data mill once the transaction has taken place. It cannot be published before the transaction has taken place as this could compromise the bidding process.
· Internal Audit Productivity – It was acknowledged that some areas appeared behind such as ICT and Information Governance. However, the audit plan is profiled across the year, and it is anticipated that these areas would catch up to the appropriate level.
· Covid 19 grants – In response to a question Members were informed that they would be provided with the most up to date information on fraudulent grant recovery outside of the meeting.
RESOLVED – To:
a) Receive the Internal Audit Update Report covering the period from June to August 2022 and note the work undertaken by Internal Audit during the period covered by the report.
b) 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) Receive the report providing information relation to the Monitoring of Urgent Decisions covering the period June to August 2022.