Agenda item

To provide the Committee with a periodic report on the Internal Audit function for the period September 2022 – December 2023, as required by the professional standards.




The Committee was provided with a progress report on the Internal Audit function for the period September 2022 – December 2022.


It covered three main points as follows:-


·                A total of nine audits had been completed since the previous update in September 2022. Four of the six audits in fieldwork were close to completion. The final 12 audits had been allocated and were due to progress in the final quarter.


·                All audits completed in this period had received a satisfactory level of assurance.


·                An external quality assessment was recommended for Internal Audit functions every five years. Therefore, this Council’s assessment would be due in March 2023. As this was the end of the financial year, which was one of the busiest periods in the year, it was proposed to delay the assessment until later in the 2023/24 financial year.


Members heard that a total of nine audits had been completed during the period September 2022 to December 2022. All audits completed in that period had received a satisfactory level of assurance with no significant issues to report. A further six audits from the 2022/23 Internal Audit Plan were in fieldwork phase, four of which were near completion. The final 12 audits from the plan had been allocated to be scoped and completed in the final quarter of the 2022/23 financial year.


Members also heard that although the Council currently had 12 audits due to be scoped and progress in this quarter it was not too far behind where it had been in the same period last year, therefore there was currently no concern at this stage as to whether enough audit work would be completed by the end of the financial year in order to be able to provide the Head of Internal Audit’s Annual Opinion. If there was any change to this the Audit Committee would be updated accordingly. The majority of the key system audits were now completed or nearing completion which held significant weight when contributing to the annual opinion.


The Committee was informed that the Internal Audit function issued satisfaction surveys for each audit when completed. In the period under review, 100% of the responses received had indicated that the auditee was satisfied with the audit work undertaken. Members were also reminded that Internal Audit was currently an establishment of 4 full time employees with access to a third party provider of Internal Audit Services for specialist audit days as and when required. At the time of the meeting the Council had an Audit Technician post vacant.


It had been reported at the previous meeting of the Committee that the Council would explore a shared apprenticeship route with other authorities as a way for new recruits to gain experience across different sectors and authorities while learning. Unfortunately, this Council had not been able to gain enough interest across all authorities to make it worthwhile therefore it was now going to have to revisit the normal apprenticeship route.


It was reported to Members that the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards required the Audit Manager to report to the Audit Committee on significant risk exposures and control issues. Since the last report nine audits had been completed and the final report issued.




Number this Period

Total for 2022/23Plan












Improvement Required





Significant Improvement Required





No Opinion Required




One consultative engagement in 2022/23 to date


For the purpose of the colour coding approach, both the substantial and adequate opinions were shown in green as both were within acceptable tolerances.


There were no issues arising from audits completed in the period under review as none had received an ‘Improvement Required’ opinion which required reporting to the Committee.


The report to the Committee laid out the Management Response to Internal Audit Findings. There were processes in place to track the action taken regarding findings raised in Internal Audit reports and to seek assurance that appropriate corrective action had been taken. Where appropriate, follow up audits had been arranged to revisit significant issues identified after an appropriate time.


The number of high severity issues outstanding was as follows: -






Overdue more than 3 months



Overdue less than 3 months




Not yet due





The Committee was updated on the following previous significant issues reported to it:-


Depot Operations, issues had previously been reported to the Audit Committee relating to Housing Repairs and Maintenance and Depot Operations relating to the following areas:


·         Lack of regular stock takes for the stores

·         Lack of contract variation tracking as part of the Housing Repairs Contract Management

·         Missing tenancy information

·         Lack of clear record keeping

·         Discrepancies between Oneserve Management Software and Invoices


All of the above actions relating to the above issues were not yet due to be implemented and the Corporate Director was due to provide an update in March 2023. However, an interim update had been provided by the service. The implementation of stock takes had begun and a review of how the stores would be managed going forwards was currently being undertaken.


All other issues would be resolved by implementing the Oneserve software completely and ensuring that all officers used it going forwards. There was a working group tasked with ensuring this and specified staff were being trained as administrators with a view to rolling it out to all other officers to use.


The Corporate Director (or Assistant Director) for the service would provide a more detailed update in March 2023 as previously requested by the Committee.



The Committee NOTED the contents of the report and RESOLVED that:

a)    the Five Yearly External Quality Assessment due in March 2023 be deferred to later in the 2023/24 financial year; and


b)    a note from this Committee be drafted by the Audit Manager and sent to the Leader of the Council, regarding the attempted collaboration with other Authorities in relation to audit  apprenticeships and how this had not been successful.


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