To endorse the draft Internal Audit Plan for 2019/20.
The Committee considered the proposed Internal Audit Plan for 2019/20-21/22 and Internal Audit Charter. It was identified that these were provided by the Southern Internal Audit Partnership (SIAP), the Council’s incoming internal auditors for 2019/20, as agreed by the Executive on 18 October 2018.
Representatives of SIAP provided an introduction to the plan and charter, outlining the contents of the documents and the related development and consultation. This included information on the internal audit team, internal audit priorities, consideration given to the Council’s identified Strategic Risks for 2019/20, and timing and cross-referencing of reviews. It was identified that the plan would be regularly updated, and that significant variations would be reported back to the Committee.
The Committee considered and discussed the report, plan and charter. There were a number of questions and comments relating to the following topics:
· Review topics and scoping. Clarification was provided on the subjects and focus of planned reviews. It was identified that the Working in Partnerships review was planned to focus on governance around partnerships, whereas the Alternative Delivery Models review was would focus on new models beyond existing activities. It was identified that the early review of the developing Corporate Plan would consider the development process, and the review in 2021/22 would consider delivery of the plan. It was identified that bank reconciliations would be considered as part of the review of main accounting. It was identified that as these had recently been considered by the current internal auditors, it was expected that these would be reviewed again subsequent to other areas of focus. It was identified that the planned review of the annual governance statement in 2021/22 would consider the broad framework and surrounding process, in addition to the elements annually considered. It was identified that the scope of all reviews would continue to be considered during the course of the plan.
· Commercial Governance. It was identified that the Council’s current internal auditors were conducting a review of the Council’s commercial governance arrangements. It was identified that there was a planned review on income generation, which could include consideration of relate matters. It was confirmed that consideration would be given to if additional consideration of the matter was required.
· Operational Risks. It was confirmed that the Council’s identified operational risks had been considered by the internal auditors, but that did not form part of the formally presented plan.
· Council Investments. It was identified that a review of investments, particularly considering the Council’s investment strategy, was planned for Q1 2019/20, with potential for the scope to be reviewed. It was identified that consideration would be expected to be given to the recoverability of investments as part of the planned review of accounts receivable and debt management in 2020/21. It was confirmed that consideration would be given to if additional consideration of the matter was required.
· Fraud and Irregularities. It was identified that fraud and irregularities had not recently been the subject of a specific review, and that a specific review of the subject did not form part of the current plan. It was however also identified that consideration to risks relating to fraud and irregularities were considered as part of the process of all relevant reviews. It was confirmed that consideration would be given to if additional consideration of the matter was required.
· IT and related work. Attention was drawn to the importance of assurance regarding the Council’s information technology infrastructure. It was confirmed that consideration would be given to if additional or earlier consideration of related matters was required.
The Committee thanked the auditors for their work in developing the plan and providing information to the Committee. It was:
RESOLVED that the Internal Audit Plan 2019/20-21/22 and Internal Audit Charter be approved.