Agenda item

Progress report on internal audit activity

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.  To assure the committee that action is being taken on risk related issues identified by internal audit.


The Assistant Director of South West Audit Partnership (SWAP) introduced the report, the key points included: attention was drawn to Appendix A – Report of Internal Audit Activity which identified that 5 audits had been completed to date and 13 audits were in progress; in particular, the advisory work on ‘S106 Holmer Road – Special Review’ and ‘Payment Authorisation outside of Financial Management System’ were noted; work was ongoing on the development of the fraud risk assessment, streamlining the grant assurance process, and improving internal audit coverage of corporate risks; a customer satisfaction questionnaire had returned a score of 95%; the acceptance rate of internal audit recommendations was 100%; the purpose of the 2022/23 Pipeline of Audits, as part of the agile audit planning process, was outlined; and the attention was drawn to Appendix B – Counter Fraud Update which identified national risks and actions/ongoing work.


The following points were made in response to questions from committee members:


i.             There was a discussion about the audit ‘Property Flood Resilience Support Scheme (Bellwin / Resilience Management) Quarter 1’ which had reasonable assurance.  The Director of Resources and Assurance explained that the premise of the Bellwin scheme was to provide financial assistance from the government to a council where there had been an extraordinary event or disaster, such as flooding.  The scheme could reimburse the cost of actions taken in the immediate phase of an emergency but it was not intended to fund longer term repairs or costs.  Therefore, as a claim would be retrospective, there was minimal inflation risk associated with Bellwin but other capital programme schemes for permanent repairs were exposed to inflation.  In response to a question, the Director confirmed that Cabinet and Council had agreed to fund priority flood works as the Bellwin scheme had not funded all the repairs needed following flooding in 2020; a link to the relevant papers would be provided.


ii.            The Assistant Director of SWAP commented that: there would be reasonable internal audit coverage of corporate risks and the need for further work on joining corporate risks and corporate objectives to the planning process was acknowledged; the Pipeline of Audits was not ranked in priority order currently and this could be developed, albeit it would need to remain a live and agile document; the need to reflect movement into and within the pipeline was recognised; there would be opportunities for committee members and officers to input into the planning process to ensure that local priorities were considered; and there was the potential to re-assess the need for some audits which were rolled over repeatedly to accommodate other audit activity.


iii.          The Director of Resources and Assurance briefly outlined the arrangements in relation to audit capacity and obtaining additional services if considered necessary.  The Assistant Director of SWAP advised the committee that that enough audit work had been undertaken to enable the internal audit annual opinion but this did not prohibit further investment.




(a)     performance against the approved plan has been reviewed;


(b)     the assurances provided and the recommendations have been considered; and


(c)     the Corporate Fraud Update has been noted.




Action 173:     A link to the Cabinet and Council papers on funding for priority flood works be provided.


[Note: Follow this link to Revision of Capital Programme Budget for Priority Flood Works]

Supporting documents: