Internal Audit Progress Report
- Meeting of Audit Committee, Wednesday, 18th March, 2015 10.00 am (Item 60.)
- View the background to item 60.
That the report be approved.
The Internal Audit Manager presented the update report on progress of the Internal Audit department. No major issues were reported on the Audit Plan which was generally on track. An update was given on changes made to the Plan and the implementation of the integrated audit software which was progressing well.
On finalised reports, more detail was provided on the findings of those where high level recommendations had been made. Following concerns raised by Mr. Paul Williams on the overpayment of provider invoices, the Internal Audit Manager explained how the errors has arisen in this particular section and confirmed that there had been no evidence of fraudulent activity, with £20K recovered to date and arrangements made to recover the remaining amount. In response to comments from the Chairman, he agreed to ascertain the number of staff involved in this issue.
On mobile phones and devices usage, Councillor Ian Roberts referred to the process for monthly declarations by Members on their usage and suggested that a system be introduced for officers to complete a one-off declaration to confirm that their acceptance of a Council mobile phone would not involve personal use. The Internal Audit Manager advised that the recommended review of mobile devices was now underway. Following a request from the Chairman, he agreed to provide a report on the breakdown of costs by department.
Queries were raised by Councillor Alison Halford on further monitoring the use of mobile devices, particularly for accessing social media. The Chief Executive pointed out that telephone calls and text messages were chargeable on mobile devices whereas internet use was available at no cost through the Council’s Wi-fi.
In response to a further reassurance sought by the Chairman, the Chief Executive explained the role of the IT section in co?ordinating the provision of mobile phones, with allocation and usage reviewed by Chief Officers and senior managers. Whilst acknowledging that this had been an unregulated system, there was no evidence to suggest any widespread abuse. The total cost was low, given the number of devices, perhaps partly due to the increased use of email at no cost if accessed through Wi-fi. It was noted that a number of officers used their own personal devices at their own expense and some were issued Council mobile phones to specifically respond to callout alerts.
The Chairman requested that the Committee receive a breakdown of the types of electronic devices issued by the Council.
On staff recruitment and induction, Mr. Williams raised concerns at the findings and sought assurance that explanations would be received if recommendations had not been implemented by the impending due dates. The Internal Audit Manager confirmed that this information would be included as part of the recommendation tracking update in the next report due in June 2015. The Chief Executive gave assurance that recommendations would be followed up with Human Resources on the development of an e-module for employment contracts and corporate induction.
In response to a query from Councillor Haydn Bateman, the Internal Audit Manager explained that schools had been requested to undertake a Control and Risk Self-Assessment (CRSA), the results of which had been used to identify audits on those topics at particular schools. Work had started on the audits, with the results due to be reported to the Committee in June 2015.
For recommendations not implemented, the Internal Audit Manager confirmed receipt of the two management responses in respect of procurement and income from fees and charges, since drafting the report.
That the report be approved.
- Internal Audit Progress Report, item 60. PDF 60 KB
- Enc. 1 for Internal Audit Progress Report, item 60. PDF 372 KB