Decision details

Internal Audit Progress Report 2021/22 (September 2021)

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No

Decisions:

Peter Harrison, Internal Audit, introduced the Internal Audit Progress Report 2021/22 which provided a summary of the progress against the Internal Audit Annual Plan as at September 2021.  He referred to a typographical error in Recommendation (1) of the report and explained that progress related only to 2021/22 and not 2020/21 as indicated.

 

Following approval of the Internal Audit Plan by the Committee in April 2021, three assurance reviews had been finalised, with fieldwork underway on a further three reviews.

 

Mr Harrison presented the executive summaries of the three audits which had been completed in the period which were contained in Appendix 2 to the report.

 

The report highlighted the review of Contract Management had resulted in an assessment of reasonable assurance, with two important action points having been identified.  Members of the Audit Committee raised concern regarding two important actions in the report related to no tenders or quotations for the purchase of curtains related to the Kendal Town Hall refurbishment. In response to a query raised on whether the constitution and procurement policy had been followed, both the Legal, Governance and Democracy Lead Specialist (Monitoring Officer) and the Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) informed Members that it had not. Members requested an explanation from the Operational Lead (Delivery and Commercial Services) at the next meeting.

 

The review of Procurement had resulted in an assessment of reasonable assurance, with four important and one routine action points having been identified.  The Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) informed Members that the Contract Procedure Rules had been under review with a number of amendments being made before going to Council for approval.

 

The review of Debtors had resulted in an assessment of substantial assurance, with just one routine action point having been identified. Members thanked Officers for their hard work and expressed how pleased they were to see substantial assurance in this area.

 

Internal Audit had also assessed the extent to which previous internal audit recommendations had been implemented. The key issue identified was that, although there had been some slippage, most recently due to Covid-19, recommendations continued to be implemented.  Of the 47 recommendations contained within the report, 28% had been implemented.  Of the 33 recommendations that remained outstanding, 70% were due to slippage beyond the original implementation date and 30% were because the original implementation date had not yet arrived.  Due to the reorganisation measures under the ongoing Local Government Reform, one recommendation was no longer applicable and, therefore, would not be implemented.

 

Following a request from Members, Mr Harrison agreed to provide a clearer explanation of the anticipated benefits of the Customer Connect Programme. The Director of Customer and Commercial Services informed Members that this topic had been considered and a report would be brought to Cabinet and Council to update Members on the project.

 

RESOLVED – That the following be noted:-

 

(1)        the progress achieved in 2021/22 in delivering the Audit Plan and the outcomes of completed audit reviews, as set out in Appendix 1 to the report;

 

(2)        the audit reports, as set out in Appendix 2 to the report; and

 

(3)        the status of outstanding recommendations contained within the follow up report, as set out in Appendix 3 to the report.

Publication date: 30/11/2021

Date of decision: 23/09/2021

Decided at meeting: 23/09/2021 - Audit Committee

Accompanying Documents: