To consider the attached report.
Contact Officer: Kate Mulhearn (01296) 585724
The Committee received a progress report on assurance work activity undertaken against the 2016/17 Assurance Plan since March 2016 and the following matters were highlighted:-
Final Reports issued since the previous Committee Meeting
The following reviews had been completed since the last Committee meeting:-
· Fixed Assets – the review had raised concerns over the annual fixed asset register process, regarding the accuracy and completeness of assets held departmental registers as compared to assets listed on the fixed asset register. A similar issue existed relating to the depreciation of assets. However, the findings had not identified any material errors.
If acted upon promptly the findings for the Fixed Asset Register as at 31 March 2017 could be rectified before the audit of the financial statements for 2016/17 was carried out.
The review had identified two medium risk findings and four low risk findings, details of which were included within the progress report.
· Treasury Management – the review had found that the Council’s performance compared to best practice drawn from knowledge of processes in other local authorities. A number of areas of good practice had been noted, with no significant risks being identified.
The review had identified two medium risk and two low risk findings, details of which were included within the progress report. It was confirmed that the Treasury Management Strategy would be reported to full Council in February and October and to scrutiny in April.
· Payroll – an assessment against the key objectives of payroll had found that payments are being made in line with Council establishment lists and are accurate and complete through to payslips. A number of areas of good practice had been noted.
Following the prior year audit recommendation, a reconciliation was now performed between the general ledger and iTrent.
The review had identified one medium risk and three low risk findings, details of which were included within the progress report.
The full review reports were attached as Appendix 3 to the Committee report.
Internal Audit Plan Work in Progress
The following work was being progressed:-
· Debt Recovery – in response to internal audit recommendations from 2015/16 reviews, a project was underway to review the Council’s strategic approach to debt recovery. The scope was detailed in the report. This was a non-assurance review with internal audit supporting in an advisory capacity.
· Safeguarding – the review had started but now been put on hold pending staffing re-structures. The revised scope would be agreed in January 2017.
· General Ledger, Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable – work on these areas had been completed and reports were being prepared.
· Service Charges – this review was in progress.
Overdue Recommendations and Follow Up Work
· Financial Systems – the Commercial AVDC Financial Systems and Processes Review Board was continuing to monitor the implementation of actions identified in the 2015/16 Accounts Payable & Receivable and the General Ledger and Budgetary Control internal audit reports.
The financial systems would be audited again in quarters 3 and 4, and this would pick up on previous actions and provide assurance over the design and operation of financial controls.
· Taxi Licensing (October 2015) – the recommendations from this review had finally been completed. A document retention policy had been drafted along with the data retention schedule, which had been incorporated into the system specification and data migration processes for the new Salesforce system.
Appendix 2 to the Committee report detailed the updated 2016/17 Annual Internal Audit Plan, which had originally been approved by the Audit Committee in March 2016. Members were asked to consider and comment upon the updated / proposed changes.
Members sought further information that data retention issues would also be dealt with as part of the new Information Management Strategy.
That the progress made against the 2016/17 Assurance Plan, including the completed internal audit reports, be noted.