Agenda item

Internal Audit Update


The Chief Internal Auditor reported that in order to assist in effective corporate governance and to fulfil statutory requirements, the Internal Audit Section of the Finance Department reviewed management and service delivery arrangements within the Council as well as financial control systems. Work areas were selected for review on the basis of risks identified on the Corporate Risk Register and as assessed by Internal Audit in consultation with Chief Officers and Managers. His report identified and evaluated the performance of the Internal Audit Section and included details of the actual work undertaken during the monitoring period. He brought to the attention of Members a number of items of note concerning audit work undertaken in relation to the Annual Governance Statement, Counter Fraud, Schools Audits and the National Fraud Initiative (NFI).


The Internal Audit Plan for 2011/2012, approved by the Committee on 28 March 2011 (minute 88 refers), identified all audits required to provide the Council with adequate assurance regarding the effectiveness of its systems to manage and mitigate identified risks to the achievement of the Council’s objectives. It was essential therefore that those elements of the audit plan designed to support the provision of the ‘annual assurance opinion’ on the effectiveness of the Council’s control environment and also support the delivery of the Annual Governance Statement were delivered effectively. Following the recent acquisition of additional staffing resource, the Chief Internal Auditor was confident that the objective would be achieved by the year end.


He also provided information on the status of recommendations made in internal audit reports that had been followed up during the monitoring period, and also identified audits undertaken in the period which included recommendations of a high priority nature where a significant risk had been identified that could affect the ability of a specific service area to achieve its key objectives. He provided an indication of the audit opinion of the control environment and he commented that all of the action plans in respect of the audits had been returned fully completed, with the exception of those identified below. Those returned all identified appropriate timescales for the implementation of recommendations that had been agreed to mitigate or remove weaknesses. Relevant managers had been contacted regarding the return of overdue action plans in respect of –


·  Bidston Village Primary School

·  Townfield Primary School

·  Members Allowances, Sources of Income (Law/HR/AM)

·  Building Security – Wallasey (Law/HR/AM)

·  Redeployment (LAW/HR/AM)

·  Departmental Risk Management (LAW/HR/AM)

·  Departmental Risk Management (DASS


In response to comments from the Chair in relation to schools audits, the Chief Internal Auditor reported that work was ongoing with Chairs of governing bodies. He had also liaised with officers from CYPD to explore what support measures for schools could be put in place.


Resolved –


(1)  That the report be noted.


(2)  That relevant managers be instructed to ensure that Audit Action Plans are returned in a timely manner in order to ensure compliance with high priority recommendations.


(3)  That an update report be presented to the next meeting of the Committee.

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