Report of the Internal Audit and Assurance Manager.
The Internal Audit and Assurance Manager presented the Internal Audit Monitoring Report to advise Members of the latest monitoring position regarding the 2016/17 Internal Audit Plan, seek approval for proposed variations to the Plan and update Members on the results of recent audits.
Members were advised that the 2016/17 Internal Audit Plan had been approved by the Committee at its meeting on the 29th June 2016 with a number of variations approved at its meeting on the 24th September 2016.
A summary of the monitoring position up to 19th December 2016 and a detailed monitoring report up to that date was set out in Appendix A of the report.
The monitoring position took account of ongoing and planned work commitments. This showed that overall, current commitments totalled 565 days compared with the currently approved plan of 575 days which gave an uncommitted resource of 10 days. This equated to the unused balance of the general contingency of 10 days.
As reported to the September 2016 meeting of the Committee, internal audit staff resources had been diverted, between March and September 2016 to cover both the management and day-to-day operations of the Council’s corporate information management functions. Adjustments to the Plan approved by Committee at that meeting had identified a shortfall in resources in the Plan of 40 days. That position had been maintained in the intervening period with resources available from the current staffing for the remainder of the year being 149 days.
Members were advised that the proposals incorporated a reduction in time spent on follow-up reviews (5 days), corporate risk management (10 days), support work (5 days) and the transfer of 10 days from the general contingency. Arrangements were in hand to secure additional resources to provide the additional 40 days required to complete the Plan. This had been built in to the revised budget for 2016/17 and would therefore be met from within existing budgets. The proposals therefore sought to maintain the main programme of Assurance Audit work.
The report also covered audit work and reports issued since the last report to Committee on the 14th September 2016. Members were informed that summary reports had been issued to Members for consideration and were also posted on the Council’s Intranet.
The Committee was advised that a limited assurance opinion had been given following two follow-up reviews. These related to audit reports on stores and safeguarding adults. Very good and good progress had been made respectively on both audit reports. Whilst the level of assurance which could be provided remained limited, revised target implementation dates early in 2017 had been agreed to take into account work in progress, which once complete should result in substantial assurance being provided. It was agreed that updates would be given to the Committee at its next meeting and if the assurance level remained “Limited” the Committee would invite the respective service managers to future meetings.
Members asked a number of questions relating to the Internal Audit Monitoring Report and the 2016/17 Internal Audit Plan.
It was proposed by Councillor Wilkinson and seconded by Councillor Whitaker:
“That the recommendation set out in the report be approved.”
Upon being put to the vote Members voted unanimously in favour of the proposition, whereupon the Chairman declared the proposal to be carried.
(1) That the current monitoring position be noted.
(2) That the proposed revisions to the Audit Plan, as set out in the table in §1.2, be approved.
(3) That the results of recent audit activity, set out in sections 2 - 3 of the report be noted.