Issue - meetings

Internal audit - Quarter 4 2022/23 Progress Report

Meeting: 19/07/2023 - Audit Committee (Item 13)

13 Internal Audit - Quarter 4 2022/23 Progress Report

(i)             That the Audit Committee note the Q4 2022/23 internal audit progress report available at Annex 1; and,


(ii)            That the Audit Committee make any comments and/or observations on the reports to the Council’s Chief Finance Officer.

Supporting documents:


Natalie Jerams, Deputy Head of Southern Internal Audit Partnership (SIAP), gave the Committee a detailed overview of the quarter 4 progress report on the delivery of the internal audit plan.


It was noted that 90% of the audits had been completed to date and two audits were in progress. The Committee would consider the Annual Report and Opinion at its meeting in September. There had been no audits completed in this quarter with a limited assurance.


The plan needed to remain fluid in order to accommodate emerging audits.


The report outlined overdue management actions.


Concern was raised regarding the impact and reason for the two-year extension of the overdue procurement management action. An update was provided in the advance questions (question 13 and can be accessed here.), where it was explained that a Procurement and Contract Management transformation programme began in late June 2023. The Council now appointed an Interim Procurement Lead as a key challenge to date had been around lack of procurement expertise and capacity. There had been no specific impacts on planned procurements to date, although there may have been missed opportunities in terms of always obtaining the best deals and managing contracts. Neighbouring authorities were in a similar position.


Management action targets were set by the Council and in some cases, it was necessary to divert resources and the Covid pandemic was cited as one of those occasions.


In terms of the outstanding procurement and contract management actions, these would remain on the progress report until they were assessed as complete. A follow up review was scheduled to take place on procurement and contract management within the 2023/24 plan.


As per the previous agenda item, the Committee requested that in future its Members be made aware of reports that were considered at other Committees, but relate to the work of the Audit Committee. Officers agreed to look at how this can be achieved.


SIAP confirmed that they would be contacting responsible officers in respect of the outstanding management action regarding Information Governance. Assurances were given that this action would be completed no later than September.


Members were assured that the audit review on Contracts Management which received a limited assurance would be followed up to ensure actions had been implemented before being closed.


In response to a question, it was stated all grants received came with differing terms and conditions. Two of the grants that had been received by the Council had required internal audit review and were therefore added to the 22/23 audit plan.


In respect of deferring the audit relating to the Corporate Plan, it was explained that the audit plan was risk-based and on this occasion other reviews had been assessed as a higher priority. For reassurance, it was stated that there is an annual report to Overview & Scrutiny and Executive on progress with regard to the Corporate Plan.


It was confirmed that the action relating to the Environmental Sustainability audit, recommending improvements to the Annual Report, would be built into the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 13