Issue - meetings

Internal Audit Progress Report

Meeting: 06/06/2018 - Audit Committee (Item 8)

8 Internal Audit Progress Report pdf icon PDF 79 KB

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(a)       That the report be accepted; and


(b)       That on the review of Disabled Facilities Grants, the Committee appreciates the support provided by the professional oversight board and the rigorous transition planning work within the structure to address operational risks.


The Internal Audit Manager presented the update on progress of the Internal Audit department.  In keeping with the agreed practice, relevant officers were in attendance to provide explanation on the key issues and actions arising from the red (limited assurance) review of Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs).


The Senior Auditor summarised the findings of the review, as set out in the report, noting that a contributing factor may have been recent changes made to the management structure.


The Chief Officer (Planning, Environment & Economy) explained that responsibility for DFGs was temporarily under his portfolio following the departure of the Chief Officer (Community & Enterprise), but was due to be transferred back to Housing.  He explained that a commitment had been given to address the recommendations including the establishment of a professional oversight board.


The Chief Executive welcomed the management intervention on the issue as the speed and rigour of the response to the findings had been insufficient.  The purpose of the professional oversight board was to oversee full implementation of the audit recommendations, to secure performance improvement and to undertake a comprehensive review of the entire process involving Social Services.


The Service Manager, Enterprise & Regeneration explained that the report would be subject to further challenge by the Community & Enterprise Overview & Scrutiny Committee.  In highlighting progress on key actions, he referred to the impact of structural changes including some unfilled vacancies.  He thanked Internal Audit colleagues for their help in developing new monitoring systems which would ensure a consistent approach to caseload management.


Sally Ellis welcomed the robust action plan which was in place.  She drew comparison with the red review on Planning Enforcement where issues on vacancy control and performance indicators had been identified, and asked if this was the case in any other service areas.  The Chief Executive was not aware of these issues emerging elsewhere but highlighted the differences between the audit findings in Planning Enforcement compared with DFGs.  He spoke about significant work in Human Resources on learning derived from service reviews and succession planning within the Council.


The Chief Officer (Planning, Environment & Economy) explained that in the case of the review of Planning Enforcement, officers had worked with Internal Audit to divert resources for an independent review of the service, in recognition of the performance issues.


On other final reports issued, an update was sought by Councillor Dolphin on the Greenfield Valley Heritage Park follow-up report.  The Chief Executive agreed that a full written progress update would be made available to Members within 7-10 days.


As previously requested, an overview was provided of the reports with an amber red assurance level.  The format was welcomed by Sally Ellis who asked about the monitoring of progress on housing rent arrears.  The Chair invited the Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Housing, who was present in the public gallery, to provide an update.  Councillor Attridge said that in recognition of the significance of the issue, a commitment had been given to tackle rent arrears which would help support the Council’s house  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8