To consider the report of the Director of Resources, (copy enclosed).
The Committee received the Performance Against 2018/19 Internal Audit report outlining progress to date with regard to work completed and any deviances to, or slippage, on the Internal Audit Plan 2018/19.
Mr Greg Rubins, Head of Internal Audit, took the Committee through the three summary reports namely Budgets and Performance Management, Main Financial Systems and Safe and Clean Environment. He informed the Committee that the
three reports were moderate assurance level, all generally positive, hence the necessity for summary reports only. He advised that other audits were underway resulting in four more reports to the next meeting and that he was confident all would be completed in time for comment by the Head of Internal Audit prior to sign-off.
Addressing the three summaries he reported the following: -
Main Financial Systems – a very positive report with substantial assurance on design and moderate assurance on effectiveness. He reassured Members that a large range of testing had been undertaken on financial systems e.g. payroll, financial ledger etc. with no errors found.
Budgets and Performance Management – a positive report with moderate assurance and effectiveness. It was noted that overall the Council monitors its budget performance robustly, with good work on the part of the finance team and council departments. All recommendations would be turned around quickly.
Safe and Clean Environment – both the street cleaning and waste management contracts were working well. However, contract monitoring meetings were required in order to tighten up processes and provide a robust audit trail. Overall the recommendations should be completed within a short period of time.
In response to Member questions Mr Rubins clarified the following: -
That staffing issues had delayed completion of the outstanding piece of work on the Fraud Risk Assessment. The Fraud Risk Assessment will be considered at the next Audit Committee meeting.
That sample testing varies depending on areas requiring review, already well managed areas will not be tested annually. However, when it came to main financial systems there was always an element of annual review due to the importance of assurance in this area. It was agreed that where appropriate Members be included in all sample testing going forward.
With reference to a query regarding the definitions on page 15 it was noted that it would be more helpful to have the definitions at the start of the report as opposed to the end.
The Director of Service Delivery addressed a question on the Appleton Waste Management contract regarding value for money. He advised that the Council always seeks value for money (VFM) on all contracts. In the case of the Appleton contract, and to ensure VFM, the Council was undertaking soft market testing prior to deciding to renew the contract.
RESOLVED that the Committee noted the progress against the 2018/19 Internal Audit Plan.