Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Audit Manager led Members through the internal audit report to 30 June 2019 that gave details of audit matters and any emerging issues, not only in relation to audit but risk management and corporate governance. In addition to audit assurance work, the service had also engaged in various consulting activities during the quarter and continued to work with the Revenues and Benefits Section regarding the investigation of cases identified as a result of the National Fraud Initiative data matching exercise.
The report gave details of the two audits completed in the quarter (Community Grants and Disabled Facilities Grants), both of which had given substantial assurance on the overall governance arrangements.
It was advised that whilst progress had been slow on the older recommendations during the quarter, many of the newer recommendations continued to be implemented. It was noted that there were a small number of recommendations where there had been little movement in recent months. Recommendations older than six months where there had been no recent progress had been escalated to the Executive Directors.
At the meeting of the Audit and Standards Committee on 24 June 2019, Members requested an update on Whistleblowing Policy activity, which was provided at Appendix C to the report.
In summary, a total of 12 whistleblowing cases had been reported to the Audit Manager in 2018/19. These included a range of allegations, the majority of which focused on either Benefit/Council Tax Fraud or Housing Tenancy Fraud. All cases were initially reviewed by the Audit Manager and then either referred to the relevant Council officer for further investigation or reported to the appropriate authority.
Members had an opportunity to put forward questions and the following points were noted during the discussion:
• The Audit Manager confirmed that the Audit Recommendation not yet started from 2017/18 related to an I.T. off-site disaster recovery exercise that had not been completed for five years, but had since been downgraded to a low risk. I.T. systems had become much more robust but an exercise was still required. Members agreed that the matter should be discussed by management and if necessary a further report be made to this Committee;
• Members suggested that recommendations from previous years that were either ‘work-in-progress’ or ‘not started’ be reviewed as they may have been overtaken since; and
• the objectives marked as ‘Partially Met’ in the Community Grants and Disabled Facilities Grants Audits both related to procedures not being followed correctly. The Audit Manager was however satisfied that correct systems had now been put into place.
RESOLVED: That the Internal Audit report to 30 June 2019 be noted.
Publication date: 13/03/2020
Date of decision: 23/09/2019
Decided at meeting: 23/09/2019 - Audit and Standards Committee