Agenda item

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




The Committee had before it a report that informed them that a total of four audits had been completed since the previous update in January 2023. However, at the time of writing, the overall assurance opinion on two of them  was still being negotiated. Nine audits were still in fieldwork, four of which were expected to be completed before the Audit Committee next met,  for which a verbal update was provided.


Members heard that four audits had been deferred to the 2023/24 Internal Audit Plan. Two of which were allocated to the Internal Audit Manager and competing priorities had limited his capacity to complete in 2022/23. A further two audits had been delayed due to service changes and capacity issues. Based on the audits completed to date and those yet to be completed, the Internal Audit Manager was on course to provide an unqualified annual assurance opinion if no further significant issues were identified prior to the June 2023 Audit Committee.


The Members also heard that a 2023/24 Audit Plan had been developed using a risk-based approach, taking account of the Council’s Corporate Objectives, Corporate Risks and Emerging Risks. The plan had been collated based on the information gained from liaising with Directors, Heads of Service and  departments in order to target areas that might benefit from an independent review of processes and procedures to determine potential efficiency gains, improved technology / software requirements or if the function had not been audited for a substantial period of time due to it being considered of lower risk historically.


It was reported to the Committee that the establishment for the Internal Audit function was currently four full time equivalents (fte). A recent restructure meant that the Audit team had four full time members of staff with the part time Audit Technician being changed to full time. That post was yet to be advertised and appointed to. The level and range of coverage was considered sufficient for the Internal Audit Manager to be able to provide an annual opinion on the Council’s assurance framework.


The Corporate Director  (Operations and Delivery) then gave an update to the Committee in which he explained that the Council was working with a new piece of software called One Serve, that would optimise how the Council managed its housing repairs and at that time of the meeting there was a lot of data mapping going on in the background. The current system in place was called Northgate and there  would be a solution for the two systems to share data by April 2023 with the expectation of going live with One Serve in May 2023.


After a detailed discussion it was RESOLVED that:


(a)  the periodic update and the Internal Audit Plan 2022/23 be approved; and


(b)  the existing arrangements for updating the plan during the year, where necessary to reflect changing Authority activity and operational needs and to provide flexibility of service delivery, be continued, with significant amendments reported to this Committee as part of the periodic Internal Audit reporting arrangements.


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