Issue - meetings
Tracking of audit recommendations
To review progress of the implementation of audit recommendations.
- Appendix 1 - audit recommendations due between 1 April - 30 September 2018, item 347 PDF 111 KB
- Appendix 2 - recommendations from 2017/18 statement of accounts, item 347 PDF 54 KB
The directorate services team leader presented the tracking of internal and external audit recommendations.
Tracking of internal audit recommendations
It was noted that the trend improvement was 82% of recommendations completed within timescale compared to 76% during the last period.
Following a concern raised from a member of the committee about the number of revised completion dates, it was confirmed that the original deadline dates were agreed with the relevant manager. However, there may be a justification for revising the completion target date, e.g. there may have been an under-estimation of the amount of time it would take to complete the action recommended by SWAP or there may be further work required once work on the action commenced. SWAP also revisit the priority findings to ensure that there is progress.
The committee expressed concern over the number of NMiTE recommendations still outstanding. The chief finance officer confirmed that he was working with NMiTE to address the recommendations and meets on a monthly basis with the university. It was noted that some of the dates had slipped due to changes in personnel. There was an ongoing dialogue with NMiTE and the Department for Education (DfE) and there had now been significant progress and NMiTe were on track to complete the recommendations albeit at the later date.
Given that the council were the accountable body for the DfE funding, and the reputational risk, the committee remained concerned about the slow progress and requested that the chief finance officer report at the next NMiTE board that they were requesting assurance that the recommendations would be implemented swiftly.
External audit recommendations tracking
A member of the committee requested that the external audit recommendations tracking were presented in the same fashion as the tracking of the internal audit recommendations.
A member of the committee requested assurance on the capital programme as they did not feel fully assured. There was a claim that there was an overspend on a capital project where the business case had not yet been approved. It was noted that this was a major area and it was anticipated that this will be the focus of the next external audit.
It was noted that work to improve capital reporting was ongoing and the capital programme was long term so changes needed to be embedded. It was acknowledged that some schemes would be delivered later than planned. However work was being undertaken to align the projects to a more realistic timescale.
A member of the committee commented that it was important that senior management take ownership of data quality. It was noted that delays in capital projects may also be due to the actions of third parties and therefore outside the control of the council.
That the report be noted.