To consider the audit manager’s report. Reporting officer: Adrianna Partridge
Purpose: to report on the work of internal audit in the year ended 31 March 2012, and to advise the committee of the audit manager’s opinion on the overall adequacy and effectiveness of the internal control environment. This looks at:
· systemic control weaknesses
· planned, unplanned and follow-up audits
· feedback on the internal audit service
Recommendation: to note the report.
The committee considered the audit manager’s annual report on the internal audit function in 2011/12. The report reviewed progress against the audit plan, and advised the committee of the audit manager’s opinion of the overall adequacy and effectiveness of the council’s internal control environment.
It was the audit manager’s unqualified opinion that satisfactory assurance could be placed on the council’s risk management, control, and governance processes in place throughout the year. Seven internal audit reviews had resulted in full assurance and there had been notable improvements in council tax, housing and council tax benefits, and travel and subsistence. Areas of weaknesses identified by internal audit had resulted in action plans setting out improvements in the establishment list, the HR Pro system, payroll, and waste management. However, where internal audit had identified opportunities to improve internal controls, officers had responded positively. Where internal audit had greatest concerns, these areas were identified as systemic control weaknesses and were given top priority.
The committee debated whether the audit manager should have direct reporting access to the strategic management board, as recommended by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy. Councillors noted that if the council followed this guidance, the audit manager would be the only fourth tier manager to have such direct access to the board. The audit manager allayed the committee’s concerns, reporting that she had sufficient access under the existing arrangements to report direct to the chief executive or directly to the committee if required. The committee was content with this.
RESOLVED: To note the report.