The Head of Internal Audit and Corporate Anti-Fraud will submit his interim annual report on the adequacy and effectiveness of the Authority’s framework of governance, risk management and control arrangements based on the work of Internal Audit during 2017/18 which has been prepared in accordance with the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards.
The Head of Internal Audit and Corporate Anti-Fraud submitted his interim annual report on the adequacy and effectiveness of the Authority’s framework of governance, risk management and control arrangements based on the work of Internal Audit during 2017/18, which had been prepared in accordance with the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards.
The meeting noted that the report gave an indicative opinion of adequate (positive) assurance, which was not expected to change unless significant control issues were indicated as a result of the Annual Governance Statement process. A particular area of focus related to the implementation of audit recommendations, where two thirds still required implementation. This issue had been raised with the Senior Management Team in order to refocus officer attention on this issue, with the establishment of a monthly reporting regime for monitoring progress and other arrangements to ensure that this was more thoroughly embedded across the Council. Against this background, it was important to acknowledge that only three fundamental recommendations had been identified by audit reports during 2017/18.
In the ensuing discussion, the following matters were highlighted:-
· The meeting noted that the SAP system had not been audited during 2017/18, despite limited assurance opinions being given in 2015/16 and 2016/17. It was confirmed that, whilst no specific review has taken place with regard to SAP, there is continuous liaison between Internal Audit and officers to seek to ensure that appropriate controls are maintained and are operating effectively.
· The meeting noted the general absence of fundamental recommendations in audit reports during 2017/18 and the efforts to resolve the three fundamental recommendations. It was acknowledged that this report was the interim position, and that it was anticipated that the fundamental recommendations within the Place Directorate identified in the appendix would be resolved by the time the final report was published.
· Members commented on the expectation that Future Council would result in officers having greater focus on their range of responsibilities, but noted that two thirds of audit recommendations had nevertheless not been implemented to timescales. This seemed to be run counter the impression from the draft Annual Governance Statement that no significant control issues had been identified. The meeting noted, however, the absence of fundamental recommendations suggested that control issues were generally being properly addressed, and acknowledged the increased focus on delivery and outcomes as a result of Future Council.
(i) that the assurance opinion provided by the Head of Internal Audit and Corporate Anti-Fraud on the adequacy and effectiveness of the Authority’s framework of governance, risk management and control be noted; and
(ii) that the key issues arising from the work of Internal Audit in the context of the Annual Governance Statement be noted.