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Agenda item

Progress Report - Shared Internal Audit Services (SIAS)

This report provides the Committee with:

a)    the progress made by the Shared Internal Audit Service (SIAS) in delivering the Council’s 2019/20 Internal Audit Plan as at 4 October 2019,

b)    changes to the 2019/20 Audit Plan,

c)    the implementation status of previously agreed audit recommendations,

d)    an update on performance management information as at 4 October 2019

Minutes:

The Shared Internal Audit Service (SIAS) submitted a report to the Committee detailing progress made by SIAS on: delivery of the Council’s 2019/20 Internal Audit Plan as at 4 October 2019; proposed amendments to the 2019/20 Audit Plan; status of audit recommendations and an update on performance management information as at 4 October 2019.

 

Two amendments to the 2019/20 Internal Audit Plan were highlighted:

·         The scope of the Payroll audit had been extended to cover additional areas and increased testing.

·         An audit of Member Allowances had been added.

Both audits would come from the contingency budget.

 

The Committee queried inclusion of a Members Allowances audit which had been assigned 8 audit plan days.  The Internal Auditor responded that this would have been added through the agreed protocols with the Council and the number of days allocated depending on the scope of the audit.  Officers agreed to confirm the background to the request and its specifications.

 

A Member questioned the situation with regards to low priority recommendations from Internal Audit reports and their progress.  The Internal Auditor noted that in accordance with good practice, only medium and high priority recommendations were reported to the Audit Committee so that Members had oversight of implementation of significant recommendations.  The status of all high priority recommendations were listed in the main part of the report as well as Appendix B and were reported to the every Committee and only removed once completed.  Medium Priority Recommendations that had not been implemented, or where no management update had been provided, were dealt with in Appendix C.

Officers confirmed that low level priorities formed part of the database of audit recommendations and that these were followed-up at officer level as set out in paragraph 2.12 of the report where Internal Audit had oversight.

For the specific issue of the Governance of Council-Owned Companies audit it was reported that time was allocated in the 2019/20 Internal Audit Plan for a formal follow-up audit.  All recommendations from this audit, including low priority recommendations, would be reviewed as part of that process.

 

The Committee highlighted that the CCTV Joint Review was a concern with some of the recommendations still awaiting implementation.  The Internal Auditor responded that Stevenage Borough Council was the lead authority, although all partner Audit Committees were being kept updated on the implementation of recommendations.  It was recommended that the Committee approach the Hertsmere Borough Council Member and Officer representatives on the CCTV Joint Executive for further assurances on the CCTV partnership.

 

The Committee queried who had provided the assurance on Cyber Security.  The Internal Auditor responded that this had been completed by the BDO IT Audit team who as part of the BDO support contract provided specialist skills and capacity when required.

 

The Committee raised the issue of non-attendance of mandatory training, and how this was dealt with by the Council.  The example of the upcoming Bribery and Corruption training and the training for Members who sat on external boards were given and a list of those who had attended requested.  Officers undertook to bring this back to the Committee.

 

RESOLVED that the information contained in the Shared Internal Audit Service progress report (A/19/28) be NOTED and the amendments to the Audit Plan be APPROVED.

Supporting documents: