The Deputy Head of the Regional Internal Audit Service presented the Recommendation Monitoring report containing all recommendations made by the Regional Internal Audit service since the implementation of the new software on the 1st of April 2021. She suggested that future reports should contain only outstanding recommendations from the previous financial years together with the recommendations made in the current year. She explained that recommendations made within the limited assurance reports were not individually chased up but reviewed during a planned follow up audit of this area which was due to start. Appendix A illustrated that during 21/22, 109 recommendations were made, 59 had been implemented, 10 had passed their implementation dates and were outstanding and were continuing to be chased whilst 39 had future target dates. One recommendation was not agreed by a relevant service area, but the manager offered an explanation as to why this was the case and the solutions put forward were accepted.
The Deputy Head of the Regional Internal Audit Service reported that of the 13 recommendations made so far in 22/23, seven had been implemented and six had a future target date. This information had been extracted from the audit software system and views were welcomed in respect of the content and format that had been presented. A standard report would be commissioned to streamline the process when feedback had been received within the Regional Service.
A Member asked why the outstanding items were separated from the future target date and what exactly was the difference. The Deputy Head of the Regional Internal Audit Service replied that the outstanding items were those where the recommendations had been agreed by managers and a target implementation date had been given. When asked for an update after the specified date, the relevant Managers had not finished implementing the recommendations and therefore they were outstanding. The ones with future target dates were when a recommendation was made, the manager accepted it, but the date for implementation was yet to be reached.
A Member asked in terms of the process, when were the relevant officers contacted for progress updates and was it taken at face value that they were complete or did the team ask for evidence or supporting details? The Deputy Head of the Regional Internal Audit Service replied that the Auditors did write out to the relevant officers asking them for their response. The responses were taken at face value as far as the low recommendations were concerned and for the others, depending on the recommendation, Auditors would ask for evidence of implementation, ask more probing questions or they would reperform some tests if they had access to the system.
A Member asked if there were any updates on the Creditors – Supplier Data Audit which was concluded in April with a limited assurance opinion.
The Deputy Head of the Regional Internal Audit Service replied that at the time the report was compiled, the department were in contact with colleagues and the software supplier and they were in the process of implementing the recommendation. The Auditor was currently doing testing but there had been verbal assurance that this recommendation had been put in place.
The Chairperson commented this was a good report. In his opinion when recommendations were dealt with then they should be taken off the table. He asked about 2 audits which were blank in the table. The Deputy Head of the Regional Internal Audit Service explained the background to each audit and that the latest information would be in the table when the report was next submitted in January.
A Member asked if it was right that they should wait until the last action was completed before a formal follow up? The Deputy Head of the Regional Internal Audit Service agreed that that was something they could change in the process.
· considered the information provided in respect of the status of recommendations made.
· Reviewed the information contained within the report and provided feedback on the content and format of the