Agenda item

Internal Audit Update


The Chief Internal Auditor introduced his update report that identified and evaluated the performance of the Internal Audit Section and detailed issues arising from work undertaken during the period 1 June 2015 to 31 August 2015. He informed that the report highlighted items to note, a summary of performance data and work undertaken to continuously improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of the Internal Audit Service. Detailed appendices highlighted organisational risk, improvement and outcome for each specific audit reported.


With specific reference to Procurement of Commissioned Care, Minute 6 (2) refers, the Chief Internal Auditor informed Members that progress had been made by the department to address issues identified in his earlier report issued in October 2014, and that a follow up piece of work had now been undertaken by Internal Audit.


He informed that during the audit completed during August 2015 it was identified that significant progress had now been made with implementing the seven recommendations assessed as being high priority in the original report, and that the two high priority recommendations had been assessed as being fully implemented.  Two other recommendations had also been assessed as implemented and the remaining three (1 x Medium Priority and 2 x Low Priority) had been assessed as partly implemented. The Chief Internal Auditor informed that it was envisaged full implementation would be achieved following the roll-out of further functions within the ‘Liquidlogic’ system scheduled for November 2015. Members noted that, where applicable, assurances had been provided confirming that lessons had been learned that will benefit future procurement exercises.


Members were informed that the audit recommendations had increased the appreciation of the need for a robust flow of information between the department, Legal and Member Services and Corporate Procurement.  Where applicable (i.e. for those recommendations that are more forward focussed), assurances had been provided to confirm that lessons had been learned.


Members were further informed of key actions in relation to the remaining items of note, namely:


  • ICT – Control and Governance. The Chief Internal Auditor advised that this item was the subject of a separate report on the Committee’s meeting agenda for 28 September 2015.


  • Organisational Culture – The report informed that the Council’s management had demonstrated a strong commitment to address the recommendations, and actions had already been undertaken. Additional Internal Audit work had been scheduled and was due to be completed in the forthcoming months. To verify progress was being made, Members noted that regular reports to the Corporate Governance Group would ensure the matter remained under close scrutiny. 


  • Annual Governance Statement - The Chief Internal Auditor advised that this item was the subject of a separate report on the Committee’s meeting agenda.


  • Public Sector Internal Audit Standards – Members noted that the Wirral Internal Audit Services had developed a Quality Assurance and Improvement Programme that demonstrated full compliance with the new Public Sector Internal Audit Standards 2014 in this area. The Chief Internal Auditor advised that this item was the subject of a separate report on the Committee’s meeting agenda.


  • Debtor Write Offs – In response to clarification requested on this matter, the Chief Internal Auditor informed that Internal Audit were not directly involved in the actual write off process but did, on a periodic basis, independently review system process for accuracy, correctness and reasonableness. A Member made reference to the ‘Eugene Sullivan’ report regarding the review of outstanding sundry debts. The Chief Internal Auditor responded stating that all elements of the matter had been covered, and actions to address controls would continue to be reported back to the Committee for monitoring purposes.


  • Local Audit Accountability Act 2014 – Members were informed of the requirement to have in place an independent Auditor Panel  to oversee the appointment of external auditors from 2017. Members noted that a further statement on this matter by the Secretary of State is scheduled for the Autumn that will determine what action is required by the Council. The Chief Internal Auditor advised that regular updates on this matter will continue to be delivered to Committee.


Members noted the evaluation of the internal audit performance indicators and summary of the outstanding audit recommendations and actions undertaken to address identified issues as contained in the appendix to the Chief Internal Auditor’s report.


Resolved: That the report be noted.


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