To consider the report of the Interim Section 151 Officer, (copy enclosed).
The Committee considered the report of the Interim Section 151 Officer presenting the findings of the Internal Audit Fraud Risk Assessment for consideration, as requested by the former Director of Resources for the period November 2018 to January 2019.
Appendix 1 to the report provided detailed information on the Council’s approach to address fraud, corruption and bribery risks (prepared by the Council’s Internal Auditors) and how it assessed the suitability of the arrangements and documented policies in place to help mitigate these risks.
It was noted that the Audit Committee had considered this report at its meeting on 13 June 2019 where it was recommended that this Committee review and consider the findings. An extract from the Audit Committee Minutes was attached as Appendix 2 to the report.
In response to questions regarding action taken by the Council since receiving this report, the Interim Section 151 Officer provided the Committee with detailed information on what he had been progressing since August 2019 in response to the recommendation as set out in Appendix 1 to the report.
The Chairman advised that in accordance with Procedure Rule 20, Councillor E L Bamford had requested to speak on this item of business.
Councillor Bamford advised that she was the Chairman of the Audit Committee and provided the Committee with some background to the request by the former Director of Resources for this piece of work to be carried out. In response to comments made the Interim Section 151 Officer explained that Internal Audit had carried out the piece of work but in order to address the recommendation arising from it a further piece of work carried out by a specialist team was required. It was noted that there was a cost implication in relation to this.
A lengthy debate ensued, and a number of questions were raised regarding some of the points in the Internal Audit report. In response the Interim Section 151 Officer advised that he was happy to bring an updated report to Members highlighting the work programme currently being discussed. He also made reference to the new structure that the Council was implementing with new posts and how the Council would be looking at these postholders to deliver training and ensure value for money.
It was agreed that the Interim Section 151 Officer would provide a report to the next meeting of the Performance, Governance and Audit Committee to update Members on the progress of work in respect of the Internal Audit recommendation.
(i) That the findings of the Internal Audit Fraud Risk Assessment – Advisory Report – March 2019 be noted;
(ii) That the Performance, Governance and Audit Committee consider a report at its next meeting providing an update on the progress of work in respect of the Internal Audit recommendation.