To provide the Council with an Annual Report and Opinion for 2018/19, drawing upon the outcomes of Internal Audit work performed over the course of the year, and to conclude on the Effectiveness of Internal Audit (report of the Head of Internal Audit enclosed).
Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Internal Audit which provided an Annual Report and Opinion for 2018/19, drawing upon the outcomes of Internal Audit work performed over the course of the year, and concluded on the Effectiveness of Internal Audit.
In line with the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS), which came into force from 1 April 2013, an annual opinion should be generated which concluded on the overall adequacy and effectiveness of the organisation’s framework of governance, risk management and control:
· A summary of the work which supported the opinion should be submitted;
· Reliance placed on other assurance providers should be recognised;
· Any qualifications to that opinion, together with the reason for qualification must be provided;
· There should be disclosure of any impairments or restriction to the scope of the opinion;
· There should be a comparison of actual audit work undertaken with planned work;
· The performance of internal audit against its performance measures and targets should be summarised; and
· Any other issues considered relevant to the Annual Governance Statement should be recorded.
The report also contained conclusions on the Review of the Effectiveness of Internal Audit, which included:
· The degree of conformance with the PSIAS and the results of any quality assurance and improvement programme;
· The outcomes of the performance indicators; and
· The degree of compliance with CIPFA’s Statement on the Role of the Head of Internal Audit.
The following points were highlighted:
· The opinion itself was positive – last year it had been ‘limited’ and this year it had improved to ‘reasonable’.
· The vast majority of issues raised in the 2017/18 Internal Audit Annual Opinion had been resolved
· Third Party Assurances – As was the case last year, the work on this had not been totally concluded. Improvement was needed and would be sought.
Members considered the information, and the following issues were raised:
· With regard to the ELDC reports, referred to in appendix 2, if there was only limited assurance, why had this not been identified for review? Members were advised that these service areas were reviewed annually, and this would be picked up again next year.
· It was noted that the Communications department and the Legal Services department had not been reviewed since 2016. Officers advised that those area that were not high risk would not be reviewed as regularly. If specific risks were to arise in this area, internal audit would be able to carry out an assurance review if requested by management or the Committee.
a) That the contents of the Annual Report and Opinion of the Head of Internal Audit be received and approved;
b) That it be noted that a Reasonable audit opinion had been given in relation to governance, risk management and control for the year ended 31 March 2019;
c) That it be noted that the opinions expressed together with significant matters arising from internal audit work and contained within the report should be given due consideration, when developing and reviewing the Council’s Annual Governance Statement for 2018/19; and
d) That the conclusion of the Review of the Effectiveness of Internal Audit be noted.