To provide the Committee with the Head of Audit’s Annual Internal Audit Report (report of the Audit and Risk Manager (Audit Lincolnshire) enclosed).
Consideration was given to the report of the Audit & Risk Manager (Audit Lincolnshire), which sought consideration of the Internal Audit Annual Report 2015/16. A revised version of the report was circulated at the meeting.
Members noted that the purpose of the Internal Audit Annual Report was to meet the requirements set out in the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS) and the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015, specifically to:
· Include an independent opinion on the overall adequacy and effectiveness of the Council’s governance, risk and control framework and therefore the extent to which the Council could rely on it;
· 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 of the internal audit quality assurance and improvement programme (QAIP); and
· Draw attention to any issues particularly relevant to the Annual Governance Statement.
The Audit & Risk Manager drew attention to the scores in relation to:
· Governance – Performing Well (Green)
· Risk – Performing Well (Green)
· Internal Control – Performing Adequately (Amber)
· Financial Control – Performing Adequately (Amber)
Only one area, Accounts Payable, had received a ‘low’ assurance opinion during the year. Members noted that colleagues from East Lindsey District Council would continue to monitor that area.
Some ‘limited’ assurance opinions were given in relation to:
· ICT Strategy and Project Management;
· ICT Software;
· Payroll; and
· Service Delivery – Procurement Lincolnshire.
The Committee considered the report and the following questions were asked:
· Were Local Authorities uniquely in danger in terms of IT security?
o All businesses and organisations faced the same risk.
· Was there a risk in relation to an officer with responsibility leaving the organisation and someone new coming in?
o Processes were in place to ensure a structured handover of work and priorities. However, there was always a degree of change whilst a new employee settled into position.
· Could an update be provided to the Committee in respect of the ‘limited’ assurance areas?
o The Corporate Improvement and Performance Manager would be requested to provide an update.
· Was any further information available regarding the ICT and Project Management area?
o ICT had been reproducing plans for the forthcoming year which were being reviewed for which a report would be submitted to Cabinet. A report would also be brought back to the Committee.
Members noted that a new Interim IT Manager, Compass Point Business Services, had been appointed.
The Chief Accountant reminded members of the new control system that had been introduced to monitor the capital spend on a monthly basis. He advised that officers were also producing information on the outcomes and how they measured up against Council finances. The Chief Accountant informed members that a training session would be held, later in the year, to go through the details of the system.
On behalf of the Committee, the Chairman thanked the Audit & Risk Manager for her work with the Council. The Audit & Risk Manager advised that she would continue to coordinate the Lincolnshire Committee Forum meetings which members and officers were welcome to attend.
a) That the Internal Audit Annual Report 2015/16 be noted;
b) That a report be provided to Committee in respect of the ‘limited’ assurance areas;
c) That a report be provided to Committee in respect of the ICT and Project Management area;
d) That a training session be arranged to go through the details of the new control system.
(Councillor P C Foyster and the Audit & Risk Manager left the meeting at 7.15 pm, following consideration of the above item.)