Report of the County Treasurer
The interim Chief Internal Auditor introduced this report that contained the annual opinion for the year, along with the Audit Plan, from an internal audit perspective. Internal Audit is required by professional standards to deliver an annual internal audit opinion and to report to the Committee. This work is timed to feed into the Annual Governance Statement that would be produced in July. The report contained the opinion; a summary of the work that supported that opinion and a statement on conformance with PSIAS and the Local Government Application Note (LGAN), highlighting any areas of non-conformance.
The 2018/2019 Plan was approved by this Committee on 13 June 2018. From time to time, additional audits were added to the Plan and some were removed or deferred. However, a target of 90% of the Audit Plan being delivered is set by the Internal Audit Service, and 96% of the Plan had been achieved. The methodology behind the setting out of an opinion was set out in the report. For all audit work a “substantial”, “adequate” or “limited” assurance was given. Substantial and adequate opinions were positive opinions, whilst a limited assurance was a negative opinion where improvements were needed to the control environment. A high-level summary of the work undertaken was categorised into High Risk Auditable Areas; Main Financial Systems; Systems Audits; Compliance Reviews; Financial Management in Maintained Schools including payroll arrangements and Special Investigations/Fraud and Corruption Related Work is done. This all culminated to give an annual assurance opinion for the year. All Limited Assurance opinions are brought to the Audit and Standards Committee together with the Top Ten Risk Areas and Special Investigations where there was a financial loss of over £10,000.
This year the Top Ten Risks had focussed on the financial pressures faced by the Council and work around Care Director and support given on the Adult and Children’s Financial Services review programme. The audit opinions were summarised on page 159 of the agenda pack. There was one Limited Assurance review – Home and Community Care Contract Review, to be discussed later under Part II of the agenda. Further details were given on areas for improvement in the public part of the report. As part of the opinions, an Adequate Assurance may also contain one high level recommendation. Further details were given of those reports relating to high risk auditable areas with an opinion of at least Adequate and where there was a high level recommendation being made.
The main financial systems work was described. With the exception of one case, all financial systems had been given Substantial Assurance. Sales to cash was given a Limited Assurance opinion and this would be discussed further under Part II of the agenda.
For other assurance reviews, details were given of other Limited Assurance reviews. Four had been shared with the Committee and a further four reviews would be shared with Members in due course. The high-level risk areas and areas for improvement were given in paragraph 19 of the report. ... view the full minutes text for item 89