To provide the Council with an Annual Report and Opinion for 2022/2023, drawing upon the outcomes of Internal Audit work performed over the course of the year (report of the Internal Audit Manager (Assurance Lincolnshire) enclosed).
Consideration was given to the report of the Head of Internal Audit which presented the Internal Audit Annual Report 2022/23.
The Purpose of the Annual Internal Audit Report was to meet the Head of Internal Audit annual reporting requirements set out in the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS) and the Accounts and Audit Regulations. In particular:
· To include an opinion on the overall adequacy of and effectiveness of the Council’s governance, risk and control framework and therefore the extent to which the Council could rely on it;
· To inform how the plan was discharged and the overall outcomes of the work undertaken that supported the opinion;
· A statement on conformance with the PSIAS and the results on the internal audit quality assurance;
· To draw attention to any issues particularly relevant to the Annual Governance Statement.
The Head of Internal Audit presented the report which highlighted the following areas, along with more detailed commentary:
· Governance – Performing Adequately
· Risk – Performing Well
· Internal Control – Performing Adequately
· Financial Control – Improvement Needed
Withing the Governance section, the following recommendations were highlighted in bold within the report:
· That actions to address financial capacity and capability are included in the Annual Governance Statement (AGS) and results reported to the Governance and Audit Committee; and
· That significant governance issues raised in the Annual Governance Statement are monitored and progress is regularly reported in an action plan to the Governance and Audit Committee.
It was noted that the AGS would become a regular item on the Committee’s agenda, as frequently as was required.
Also attached to the report were:
· Appendix 1 – Details of Audits
· Appendix 2 – Details of Audit Plan Changes
· Appendix 3 – Benchmarking Data
· Appendix 4 – Assurance Definitions
· Appendix 5 – Glossary of Terms
Members considered the report and made the following comments:
· The Committee wished to thank the auditors and all officers involved in managing to move so far forward with little notice.
· The report commented that recruitment had been an issue – was this being addressed?
· The Assistant Director – Governance commented that the Financial Control assessment and the issues raised in the Governance assessment were very much on the Senior Leadership Team’s radar, and were being tracked via the Corporate Governance monthly meetings.
That the Internal Audit Annual Report and Opinion 2022/23 be noted.