Issue - meetings
Progress report on 2020/21 internal audit plan
To update members on the progress of internal audit work and to bring to their attention any key internal control issues arising from work recently completed. To enable the committee to monitor performance of the internal audit team against the approved plan.
South West Audit Partnership presented the report.
The following points were highlighted as part of the discussion on the item:
· Progress was not as expected for Quarter 1.
· There was an error in appendix c on page 102 of the agenda paper as the HALO financial review will form part of the 2019/20 annual opinion report.
· Four new pieces of work had been undertaken and two additional internal audits.
· SWAP had been very active during the period and the council had used the team on a range of counter-fraud activities.
· The 2020/21 internal audit would be reviewed with the chief finance officer to assess the impact of Covid-19 and a revised plan would be presented in September 2020.
· The offer of training in connection with counter-fraud activity was accepted by the committee.
· The audits for 2019/20 had been impacted by officers’ ability to respond due to Covid-19. Currently, the audits were lacking the detail of what action officers were going to take in connection with recommendations.
· SWAP had been looking at the cyber security / fraud areas. As cyber fraud was a high risk area, an internal audit had been scheduled. This would be carried out by a SWAP IT auditor. It was confirmed that as IT was a commissioned service from Hoople, the report would go to the relevant council officer to ensure that any identified recommendations were carried out by the provider. The solicitor to council indicated that they would have to further consider the point as to who would be appropriate to attend a committee meeting if there were questions over the outcome of the internal audit but it may be a council officer as the commissioner of the service. It was agreed that the chairperson would work with clerk and the IT team in connection with assurance being provided to the committee in connection with cyber security within the council.
· The process of prioritising audits was outlined. This included SWAP looking at the relevant risk register, meeting with senior managers in each directorate, etc to understand where the risk areas were located.
· SWAP agreed to provide the committee with a brief overview in connection with the 2019/20 audits to provide assurance to committee about any key findings in advance of September 2020 meeting.
a) The Chairperson work with the clerk and the IT team in Hoople in connection with providing assurance with regard to council’s cyber security;
b) A presentation from the IT auditor at SWAP in connection with cyber security be arranged for the committee;
c) A brief overview from SWAP be prepared in connection with the 2019/20 audits in order to provide assurance to committee about any key findings in advance of September 2020 meeting; and
d) The chief finance officer consults with SWAP in connection with an audit of the public health budget.