The Audit Client Manager reported on a position statement on progress being made against the audit work included and approved within the Internal Audit Risk Based Plan 2021-22.
The Audit Client Manager informed the Committee that the Internal Audit Plan for 2021-22 was approved by the Governance and Audit Committee on 18 June 2021, which outlined the assignments to be carried out which will provide sufficient coverage to provide an opinion at the end of 2021-22. The proposed plan continued to recognise particular risks arising from COVID-19, availability of audit and service staff and challenges arising from remote ways of working. It also allowed flexibility to allow for changing
circumstances and events that may occur, such as requests to respond to new issues that may emerge.
The Audit Client Manager detailed the progress and status of each review as at 31 August 2021. 7 items of work had been completed of which 4 audits had resulted in an opinion being provided. A further 3 audits had been completed and draft reports issued, with feedback awaited from Service Departments. A total of 9 audits were currently on-going with another 12 having been allocated to auditors, with work commencing shortly. She stated that based on the assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the areas examined through testing of the effectiveness of the internal control environment an audit opinion of substantial assurance had been given to 2 completed reviews and an opinion of reasonable assurance to the other 2 completed reviews. Five medium priority recommendations had been made to improve the control environment of the areas reviewed and 2 low priority recommendations. , Implementation of all recommendations is being monitored to ensure that improvements are being made.
The lay member asked how many audits are yet to be allocated. The Audit Client Manager informed the Committee that audits have been allocated to the staff in post and are indicated in the appendices. The remaining audits will be allocated as staff resources become available Some of those audits could be allocated externally following the completion and award of a recent tender for external assistance.
The lay member questioned the position on the audit of the WCCIS. The Audit Client Manager informed the Committee that this audit had yet to be allocated, however it would take place during quarter 4 of the financial year. The lay member referred to the amount of ICT related work and also the ICT Audit heading within the plan and asked whether this approach was fragmented and could they be linked and whether there is also capacity to review those ICT systems. The Audit Client Manager stated that Internal Audit has a computer auditor who would be undertaking the audits of identified ICT systems allocated undertaking the ICT Audit. The audit of Revenues and Benefits is much wider than an audit of that ICT system it will also look at the expected controls and risks of other aspects of the service area. The lay member asked whether these audits could be grouped together in the plan to enable the Committee to have a better understanding of which are audits of ICT systems. The Audit Client Manager informed the Committee that the audits are currently grouped together in the plan according to Directorate, but undertook to consider the suggestion of grouping ICT systems audits together in the plan.
A member of the Committee referred to the Financial Scheme for Schools and questioned whether authority is obtained from the Section 151 Officer when assets over a certain level are given away as those assets belong to the authority and whether an audit of this had been undertaken. The Audit Client Manager informed the Committee that an audit on this specific area had not recently been undertaken but assets and their disposal in schools could potentially be picked up in this year’s plan. The Deputy Head of Finance informed the Committee that if the asset is of low value, approval must be sought initially by the school from its governing body. The disposal of assets would also be subject to the terms and conditions of grant funding.
RESOLVED: That the Committee noted the contents of the report and the progress made against the 2021-22 Internal Audit Annual Risk Based Plan.