To consider the report of the Director of Resources and associated Internal Audit reports from 6a to 6e, (copies enclosed).
The Committeeconsidered the report of theDirector ofResources andassociated Internal Audit reports from BDO LLP attached on the agenda at 6a to 6e, Progress Report; Follow-up of Recommendations Report; Covid Recovery Plan Report; Partnerships Report and Fraud Risk Assessment.
TheChairmanintroduced thereportsand deferred to theInternal Audit Partnerto presentthe detail. He tookthe Committeethroughthe four reports in turn. The Progress Report referenced the reports on today’s agenda, a further six reports on the work plan due to be considered at the February Committee meeting together with the sector update. The Follow-up of Recommendations report contained some outstanding recommendations around flooding and affordable housing which would be completed in time for the meeting in February 2022.
Addressing the Covid Recovery Plan he advised that this was a very positive report with a substantial level of assurance for both design and effectiveness of controls. A very clear plan with good scrutiny and reporting lines. The auditors had undertaken some benchmarking and it compared well to others in the sector.
With reference to the Partnerships Report he advised that the level of assurance was moderate on both design and effectiveness of controls. The Council had identified its partnerships and there were good arrangements in place for nominating members. Areas to address were around distinguishing between the two different types of partnerships, both the strategic and formal partnerships; updating the thematic strategies to align with the refresh of the Corporate Plan and more formal feedback from partnerships in terms of minutes and Terms of Reference. It was noted that work was already in train on the two latter areas.
Finally, he addressed the Fraud Risk Assessment which was an advisory piece of work. It was noted that the last fraud risk assessment, assisted by Internal Audit, had taken place in 2014/15, therefore this was in need of updating to help inform and support the Council’s counter fraud strategy. Overall there were goof controls in place however, the Council could benefit from more data reviews around procurement and flagged the removal of councillor signatures from documentation. On the whole the report was very positive and it was noted that the Council had an Action Plan in place to cover aforementioned issues.
In response to Councillor Heard’s question regarding the impact of Covid on the CRM audit the Director of Resources advised that the delay was due to demands made on both officer time and availability, having to manage busines as usual together with managing the impact of Covid-19.
Councillor Jarvis addressing the final three reports said that he welcomed the work being done to provide formal feedback from partnership meetings. He concluded by congratulating the officers and the Council on the Covid Recovery Plan and the fact that under the Fraud Risk Assessment review table none of the risks were in the red priority zone.
There being no further queries the Chairman moved the recommendations and these were seconded by Councillor Jarvis. She then put them to the Committee and they were agreed by assent.
RESOLVED that the Committee considered, commented, and approved the:
(i) Internal Audit Progress Report – November 2021 at - 6a;
(ii) Follow-up of Recommendations Report - November 2021- 6b;
(iii) Covid Recovery Plan Report– October 2021 – 6c;
(iv) Partnerships Report– November 2021 at 6d;
(v) Fraud Risk Assessment Audit – November 2021 at 6e.