Agenda item

Internal Audit Update Report Quarter 3 2023-24

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 Director of Continuous Improvement (DCI) South West Audit Partnership (SWAP) presented the report on internal audit activity for quarter 3 2023/24, with attention drawn to the following:


·       The indicative opinion was of reasonable assurance, with a sound system of governance, risk management and control in place.

·       89% of the opinion related work found the control environment to be either substantial or reasonable assurance.

·       There were no significant corporate risks to be reported, but there was an assignment with a “Limited Assurance”- audit opinion on ICT back-ups.

·       Feedback from officers in terms of the areas that have been audited remains strong. The DCI confirmed data was based on 11 responses which represented a response rate of around 75%. It was noted that the request from a previous meeting to include responses figures had not yet, but would be implemented for the next report. 

·       A follow up of the registration services audit would be planned for Quarter 4.  

·       Swap were facilitating an “Audit Committee Webinar” on Thursday 1st February at 3:30pm to which committee members were welcome to attend.


In response to committee questions, it was noted:

       i.         In relation to the “corporate priority” chart on Page 139 it was clarified that there was a joint responsibility in improving those ratings. SWAP would speak to officers about the coverage and the program of internal audit work and hopefully agree a balance and proportionate internal audit plan that provides reasonable coverage across all areas. Members could comment and if they believe that coverage should be reallocated they could provide that feedback and SWAP would have discussions with officers to realign the audit plan if possible. It was clarified that the first column represents of how many audits SWAP have done in that area and the second column represents the outcomes of those audits within that area.

     ii.         With regards to the deferment of the “Proactive Fraud Work Tax Evasion” the Head of Strategic Finance (HSF) confirmed this was due to the HMRC undertaking a routine compliance check which the findings would be presented to SWAP and avoided a duplication of efforts.

    iii.         In relation to the “follow up of the Public Realm/ BBLP Related Audits” the DCI confirmed this was still in progress. It was clarified by the Principal Auditor that this was a follow up of all the internal audit actions that SWAP had made relating to BBLP and the public realm and was to ensure the council had done what they outlined they were going to do.

    iv.         The Director of Resources and Assurance (DRA) would provide a response on the bus service improvements grant with the approaching deadline of 31 March 2024.

     v.         The DCI would provide a written response on the separation between the ICT Backup and Disaster recovery items.

    vi.         It was highlighted that the “6 Special/ Advisory” figure in the assurance opinions table on page 138 did not relate to a specified piece of work and was suggested could be an error and would be looked into. 



That the committee:

a) Reviewed the areas of activity and concerns and were satisfied that necessary improvements are outlined and delivered; and

b) Note the report and considered the assurances provided and the recommendations which the report makes, commenting on its content as necessary.


Action 2023/24-020 SWAP to include “response figures” within the quality assurance client feedback data.

Action 2023/24-021 The DRA to provide a response on the bus service improvements grant.

Action 2023/24-022 The DCI / SWAP would provide a written response on the separation between the ICT Backup and Disaster recovery items.


Action 2023/24-023 The DCI / SWAP to investigate a possible error in the assurance opinions table on page 138 relating to “6 Special/ Advisory”.



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