The Head of Internal Audit, Anti-Fraud and Assurance will submit an interim annual report on the adequacy and effectiveness of the Authority’s Internal Control Arrangements based on the work of Internal Audit for 2019/20 which has been prepared in accordance with the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards.
The Head of Internal Audit, Anti-Fraud and Assurance submitted his interim annual report on the adequacy and effectiveness of the Authority’s Internal Control Arrangements based on the work of Internal Audit for 2019/20 which had been prepared in accordance with the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards.
In order to comply with these Standards the report provided:
· An opinion on the overall adequacy and effectiveness of the Authority’s framework of governance, risk management and control
· A summary of the audit work undertaken to formulate the opinion
· Details of key control issues identified which could be used to inform the Annual Governance Statement
· The extent to which the work of other review or audit bodies had been relied upon.
Appendices to the report provided a summary of Internal Audit reports for the year, details and outcome of other Audit Activities, projects and work currently in progress and agreed management actions.
The report indicated that based on the overall results of Internal Audit work undertaken to date, together with the management’s implementation of recommendations, the indicative opinion given was reasonable (positive) assurance. This was based on an agreed programme of risk-based audit coverage that had enabled a valid indicative assurance opinion to be provided. The opinion provided was an indicative interim opinion due to a number of planned pieces of work relating to 2019/20 that were currently being finalised. An update would be given to a future meeting of the Committee to coincide with the consideration of the Annual Governance Statement.
It was important that all Senior Momagers remained alert to and focussed on maintaining an appropriate, risk-based and effective framework of controls as the Council entered the recovery stage of Covid 19 and also as work continued towards the Barnsley 2030 vision.
The key results from all completed audits had been reported previously within the Internal Audit progress reports and these were summarised in this report. Throughout the year the Committee had also been made aware of progress in the implementation of audit report recommendations.
The current draft Audit Plan for 2020/21 focussed on supporting management to consider the approach to controls in the context of the impact of Covid 19.
In the ensuing discussion, the following matters were highlighted:
· It was noted that assurance opinions had been given for 8 reports issued during the year and a further five were expected within the next few weeks
· Of the 62 recommendations/implications raised, four had been deemed to be fundamental/high. Three of these had been raised in the SAP Concur Expenses report and one had been raised in the Systems Fit For Purpose Report. Two of these recommendations had future recommendation dates and two were currently being followed up with management in accordance with the agreed protocol
· Reference was made to the Core Procurement Compliance Review particularly as it related to NPS. It was noted that the Council worked with the local subsidiary in Barnsley. An explanation was provided of Barnsley’s involvement with this company. A report on the outcome of this review was anticipated shortly the results of which would be reported to the next Audit Committee
· The Head of Internal Audit, Anti-Fraud and Assurance accepted that statistically whilst eight reports had been issued during the year, the work of Internal Audit had to be viewed alongside the other pieces of work which they were required to undertake some of which could involve a considerable number of audit days. In his response he made reference to the type of work in which the Service had been involved both of a reactive and proactive nature. All of these contributed to his audit opinion and he was satisfied that the Service was able to identify and deal with significant issues
· It was difficult to give comparisons of reports issued with previous years as many aspects of work were unique in nature
(i) that the assurance opinion provided by the Head of Internal Audit, Anti-Fraud and Assurance 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.