INTERNAL AUDIT UPDATE
To consider a report by the Chief Internal Auditor (copy attached) updating members on Internal Audit progress.
The Lead Member for Finance, Performance and Strategic Assets along with the Chief Internal Auditor (CIA) introduced the report (previously circulated). It was highlighted to members the dates on the report header should read January 2023. Members were updated on the Internal Audit Team’s progress in terms of its service delivery, assurance provision, reviews completed, performance and effectiveness in driving improvement.
He informed the committee that since the last meeting two members of the audit team had moved to different employment. Close working with HR to look at recruit as soon as possible had taken place. The CIA offered his thanks to the staff in HR for the support and guidance that had been given. It had been decided the best process would be to advertise for all 3 positions (Senior Auditor, Principal Auditor and career pathways auditor) at the same time. he informed members the adverts for those jobs had been made public over a number of different platforms including social media, internal websites and local papers. He was pleased to let the committee know a number of applicants had been received for all posts. Interviews for the posts had taken place earlier in the year and the Principal Auditor position had offered to a highly qualified individual. It was hoped he would be in post by February. Unfortunately, the applicants for the Senior Auditor post had not met the job specification. He informed members that two individuals had been appointed on to the career pathway role and would be in post as soon as possible.
The two individuals on the career pathway would create some work for the CIA to establish training courses and learning paths for the individuals. Looking forward it would create and develop staff in the audit team.
The report provided information on work carried out by Internal Audit since the last committee meeting. It allowed the committee to monitor Internal Audit’s performance and progress as well as providing summaries of Internal Audit reports. Also included was a summary of the changes to the structure of Internal Audit for members reference.
Confirmation that 9 Audits had been completed since the last committee meeting. Details of 8 of the audits were included in the report. The ninth audit had been completed for Denbighshire Leisure Limited, it was an annual report presented to their governance subcommittee.
Of the 8 completed audits all received a high or medium assurance. There had been three follow up reviews completed since the last update and summaries were included for information. All three follow up reports had moved from a medium assurance to high.
Members heard additional information on external audit reports had been provided, the information had been extracted from a report that had been presented to the Chief Executive Team, Senior Leadership Team and to Cabinet briefing. The Chief Executive had requested to be made aware of all audit reports.
Progress had been made on the internal audit plan. Members heard 2 whistleblowing reports and one officer request for some additional work had been received. Over the past two years, there was two special investigations completed, this year three special investigations had been requested. These investigations put pressure on officer time and impacted the progress on scheduled audit work. Members heard the CIA would aid completion of the special investigation financial work.
It had been noted a number of reports and audits that would be completed this year. A further update on the intended work would be provided at the March committee meeting.
The Chair thanked the CIA for the detailed report, he felt the additional information on the external reports was beneficial for members to keep abreast of reports received and provide assurance to the committee that the authority was responding to those reports.
The CIA informed the committee schools had not been added to the Verto system to input data. It was an agree that was being looked at for future development. School data was received and stored on a separate spreadsheet. A request for services to update via Verto had been made. The CIA suggested he send an email to Heads of Service reminding them of the importance of using the Verto system which has been endorsed by the committee.
Members were pleased to note the audit team vacant posts had been filled. They acknowledged the time it would take to train members of the team and offered support. The CIA stated it would be a long training process to educate and train the new staff.
The audit plan was a flexible plan which could be amend if and when necessary. Members heard the CIA had planned to meet with Heads of Services to discuss audits planned and potential areas that could be added or moved over to next year’s audit plan.
The Chair noted within the report it had noted a change to the position of the internal audit team within the authority and asked for further detail. The CIA explained internal audit was in consultation to be moved from under the Governance and Business Service to be included under the Finance sector of the authority. Members heard internal audit had previously been under Finance a number of years ago. Links and communication with teams and services would continue if the move did take place.
The Chair suggested an additional column be included in the audit plan of when an audit had previously been conducted. To indicate to members any potential gaps in completion of audits. The CIA confirmed he could include an additional column to illustrate when an audit was last completed.
It was noted the 2 risks that had been identified in the completion of the audit of Ysgol Melyd. Members asked if those findings were typical of other schools and if any analysis of audit findings across schools to identify any areas of concern was completed. The CIA confirmed an analysis of school findings did take place to identify any trends. Discussions with the Head of Education and his team and where appropriate meet with Head teachers to explain any concerns found.
Members were reminded the full detail of each audit completed was provided via email for members information. The report provided a summary of the findings.
The review of Contract Management had been reviewed numerous times over recent years, going forward when reviews of services included contract management this would be reviewed as part of that audit. If any concern were raised a further audit of contract management may be necessary. If no issues were identified it was likely to be scheduled for about 3 years’ time.
The Chair thanked the Lead Member and Chief Internal Auditor for the report and detailed responses to members questions.
RESOLVED that, members note the Internal Audit’s progress and performance and the committee note a communication via the Chief Internal Auditor will be issued to schools and Services regarding data reporting on the Verto system.
- Council & Committee Report Template - Internal Audit Update - September 2022, item 6. PDF 142 KB
- Appendix 1 - Internal Audit Update September 2022, item 6. PDF 599 KB