Issue - meetings

Audit Committee Self Assessment Against CIPFA Guidance

Meeting: 07/05/2014 - Audit Committee (Item 93)

93 Audit Committee Self Assessment Against CIPFA Guidance pdf icon PDF 26 KB

Additional documents:


(a)       That the Internal Audit Manager increase the profile of value for money elements of specific work;


(b)       That further work be completed on developing a more consistent approach to ensuring value for money on financial pressures and non-audited work in the Council; and


(c)        That the work of Internal Audit and the Policy, Performance & Partnerships team on external partnership governance and performance be shared with the Committee.


The Internal Audit Manager introduced the results from the Committee’s self assessment to feed into preparation for the Annual Governance Statement 2013/14 and to help inform any future training requirements.  The assessment was based on new guidance from CIPFA on which the Committee had received training earlier in the year.


Appended to the report were comments submitted, together with the range of scores for each area and average scores: overall these were positive, indicating that the Committee generally operated effectively.  The Internal Audit Manager provided clarification on the two lowest scoring areas on the Council’s approach to value for money and public reporting.  He gave examples of two final reports recently received by the Committee which incorporated value for money elements in the recommendations as part of the regular Internal Audit Progress Report item and acknowledged that these could be better highlighted in future.  Although public reporting was not a core function of the Committee, this could be looked at for the future.


In agreement with these remarks, Ms. Amanda Hughes of the Wales Audit Office (WAO) explained the requirement for external auditors to give an opinion on the effectiveness of the Council’s value for money arrangements as part of the Annual Audit Letter last received by the Committee in December 2013.  She said that although there were no concerns, it may be reasonable for the Committee to consider receiving more specific work on value for money in future if this was felt to be of benefit to the Council.


The Chief Executive agreed with the recognition that more could be done to highlight value for money in reports to the Committee and suggested that further work could also be completed on developing a consistent approach to ensuring value for money across all functional areas including non-audited work in the Council where Audit had not the opportunity to give an independent opinion.  In response to other low scores from the self assessment, he pointed out that public reporting and partnership working were not amongst the core activities of the Committee but suggested sharing the work of Internal Audit and the Policy, Performance and Partnerships Team on external partnership governance and performance, noting  that there was already a protocol in place for reporting on the business cases for new recommended collaborations.


Councillor Arnold Woolley reiterated his concerns on differences on auditing practice of Town/Community Councils and County Councils which had been raised at the previous Audit Committee meeting, and questioned how the Committee was able to guarantee value for money when the audit did not provide absolute assurance over accuracy.  Ms. Hughes explained that the audit of the financial statements provided an opinion on whether the accounts gave a true and fair view of the Council’s financial position and outturn.  Whether they had achieved value for money was a separate matter which needed to assess the level and quality of service, the cost and whether it had achieved the Council’s objectives and had the right impact.


In response to further comments  ...  view the full minutes text for item 93