To update the Committee on progress with the Audit Plan - May 2015 to August 2015 (report of Audit & Risk Manager (Audit Lincolnshire) and Finance Manager (SHDC) is enclosed).
Consideration was given to the report of the Audit and Risk Manager (Audit Lincolnshire) and the Finance Manager, which updated the Committee on progress with the Audit Plan for the period May 2015 to August 2015.
The purpose of the report was to:
· Advise of progress being made with the 2015/16 Audit Report;
· Provide details of the audit work during the period;
· Provide details of the current position with agreed management actions in respect of previously issued reports; and
· Update the committee on any changes to the 2015/16 Audit Plan and any other matters that may be relevant to the Governance and Audit Committee role.
Since the last progress report, 10 audits had been completed, 8 to final report stage and 2 to draft report. Work was progressing with the 2015/16 plan as follows:
· Audits complete 11%
· Audits in progress 12%
· Audits scheduled
o Quarter 2 13%
o Quarter 3 24%
o Quarter 4 27%
· Audits unallocated/contingency 13%
Appendix 3 to the report provided details of audit areas and proposed audit dates.
There were two audits relating to the 2014/15 plan – ICT Strategy and projects; and ICT Software. These were at draft stage. The auditors were working with CPBS to complete these, and they would be reported to the next meeting.
Housing Benefit subsidy detailed audit testing work had been completed, and the results had been passed to KPMG for assessment.
The tracking of audit recommendations would be through the Covalent system in the near future. The auditors were working with management to help update the system with a formal follow up of all outstanding recommendations planned in October/November. The resulting audit report was scheduled to be presented to the Governance and Audit Committee on 3 December 2015.
The following audit work had been completed, and a final report issued. Further information on each of these was detailed in Appendix 2 to the report:
· Housing Benefits
· Property Plant and equipment (key controls)
· Council tax (key controls)
· NNDR (key controls)
· ICT Security (follow up)
· Accounts payable
· ICT Mobile devices
The following 2015/16 audits were currently in progress:
· Housing benefit subsidy testing – complete and awaiting KPMG review September 2015
· Housing Rents – Rent setting, calculation and billings, as well as income collection and arrears management were to be assessed.
· Housing Planned Maintenance – Audit would review the housing planned maintenance programme to ensure effective management and delivery of housing modernisation projects, which supported the Council’s Housing objectives.
Audits for the following were being prepared:
· Contract Management – The effectiveness of current contract management would be examined
· Human Resources – The relationship between the Council and CPBS to assess the effectiveness of Human Resources service delivery by CPBS
· Income – Review of key income areas including Planning fees, South Holland Centre income and Car Park charges.
Finally, a number of other matters were detailed:
· Delivering Good Governance in Local Government: Framework (CIPFA/SOLACE) – The introduction of new responsibilities and the development of new collaborative structures and ways of working provided challenges for ensuring transparency, demonstrating accountability and, in particular, for managing risk. It was crucial therefore that leaders and chief executives kept their governance arrangements up to date and relevant. In response to these challenges, CIPFA and SOLACE were undertaking a fundamental review of the Framework: Delivering Good Governance in Local Government to ensure that it remained ‘fit for purpose’. A consultation on the new draft Framework was available on the CIPFA website until 28 September, and a link to this was included within the report.
· Audit shadowing – Discussions were being held with officers around the potential for members to shadow one or two internal audits so that they could get a better understanding of the audit process. This would be taken forward from October onwards.
· Training and Development – Training and Development formed a key part of maintaining the Committee’s effectiveness. It was proposed to re-launch the successful networking group – Lincolnshire’s Audit Committee Forum – inviting public sector bodies across Lincolnshire. This forum provided Audit Committees with a way to share good practice and receive topical updates and relevant training.
The Committee was advised that relevant training would be provided just after Christmas 2015 and members agreed that they would find this very useful. They commented that they would find shadowing the audit team particularly helpful and that this should be taken forward in small groups. It was agreed that officers liaise with auditors and Committee members to arrange dates for training to be undertaken.
a) That the report be noted; and
b) That officers liaise with members of the Governance and Audit Committee and auditors to arrange dates in early 2016 for relevant training and shadowing of auditors to be undertaken.