The Head of Internal Audit, Anti-Fraud and Assurance submitted a report, which was presented by Mrs A Salt, Corporate Governance and Assurance Manager, supporting the updated Action Plan relating to the issues identified following the Annual Governance Review (AGR) for 2019/20.
The Action Plan was appended to the report and had been approved alongside the Annual Governance Statement by this Committee at its meeting on the 28th October, 2020.
The Action Plan was used to track progress of the actions identified as necessary to deal with the issues raised through the process. In providing an update of the Action Plan, Mrs Salt reported that progress against most actions had been completed or were on target to be completed and where there were delays or changes to the planned actions, the reasons were outlined within the Plan.
Written responses to questions asked by Members of the Committee were provided as follows:
· In relation to the loss of equipment and how this could occur, it was reported that predominately this was as a result of items being lost or misplaced by staff members. Most devices were mobile phones used by staff working in an agile manner as part of their role. All devices were encrypted and could be remotely blocked and wiped
· The Phishing Dashboard was in development and would be ready by 31st May 2021. Line Managers would have access to the Dashboard and used during one to one meetings with their staff members who had fallen for simulated phishing campaigns. Information available would only be relevant to the manager or the team member that had been phished
· USB memory sticks were blocked. The Computer Usage Policy stipulated that USB memory sticks should not be used without approval from the Information Security Team. When formally requested; memory sticks were only approved where there were no alternative options. Any permissions granted were subsequently reviewed and revoked. The Council did not formally use any systems or processes that required USB memory stick access, therefore,, no impact analysis had been carried out as to what the outcome of blocking USB memory sticks entirely would have on the Council
· Improvements in the area of customer complaints continued as reported in Q3 Performance Reports:
o 99% of complaints were acknowledged within timescales
o 95% of complaints were responded to within timescale agreed
Whilst Members had not raised a question in relation to meeting FOI/EIR/SAR statutory timescales, the opportunity was taken to further highlight where significant improvements had been made in meeting statutory obligations:
o 99% of Freedom of Information requests were handled within the statutory timescale
o 100% of Subject Access Requests were handled within the statutory timescale
o 100% of Environmental Information Regulations were handled within statutory timescale
· Performance and Development Reviews continued to take place annually as planned. A review of the P&DR process was to be undertaken as part of the implementation of the Success Factors Performance and Goal Module which was due in 2022
· The post of Principal Social Worker has been successfully appointed to with an anticipated start date of May 2021
· An updated on the Communications Campaign relating to equality and improvements in the demographic data for Equality and Impact Assessments was provided. The Campaign related to the promotion of the role of the Equality and Inclusion Team and the Equality and Inclusion related training offer. The new “Translation and Interpretation” POD course would be finalised in the week commencing 15th March, 2021. Once finalised the Communications Campaign would be promoted by the Communications Team. In relation to the demographic data, it was reported that this issue needed to be reworded to “Ongoing problem with lack of staff demographic data” – It was not possible to resolve this until the Success Factors HR System went live. The current HR system did not have the capability to record the required information or transfer the information to the new system. There would be a communications programme as part of the Success Factors launch which would include asking staff to update their own demographic details. The last known indicative release date for the system was December 2021
RESOLVED that the progress made against each of the items listed in the Action Plan be noted.