Agenda item


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The Internal Audit Manager explained that the Audit Committee carried out a self-assessment discussion on 26 September 2022 facilitated by the Internal Audit Manager.  The results of the assessment were provided within the report, to allow the Committee to track progress made against agreed actions and to make any amendments based on the current position. 


It was noted that this was the first time the Audit Committee had undertaken a self-assessment exercise and as a result, actions had been identified to ensure full compliance with best practice.


The Internal Audit Manager advised that in conclusion, the Audit Committee self-assessment had indicated that the Committee felt it was acting broadly in line with best practice and could demonstrate that it was adding value to the Council through its role and terms of reference. This exercise would be carried out annually and improvement actions tracked in the Audit Committee work plan to ensure completion.


In response to questions from Councillor Bubb on the questionnaire, the Internal Audit Manager explained that she had facilitated a self-assessment exercise in September 2022 and had used the CIPFA documentation.  Members of the Audit Committee had answered questions and had different views as to what worked in reflection to the Committee’s Terms of Reference.


Councillor Moriarty commented that previously a training session/briefing had been the first item on the Agenda and asked why this had not been continued.  In response, the Internal Audit Manager outlined the areas of training that could be offered to the Committee.


The Chair, Councillor Mrs Collingham added that the Committee used to having training prior to the formal meeting and highlighted the importance of training on a regular basis.  In response, the Internal Audit Manager explained that she had noted the request for regular training as an action to take forward.


Councillor Morley referred to a meeting held in 2017 when it had been recommend that training should be undertaken by Members of the Audit Committee and substitutes.


Councillor Morley stated that the data presented to the Audit Committee should be in an understandable format and not too technical and that training was required to understand the facts being presented.


In response to questions raised regarding the gaps in knowledge within the self-assessment questionnaire, the Assistant Director – Resources explained that there was an officer action plan which would deliver the correct training and added that audit training had also been included in the Members Induction Programme following the May 2023 elections.


Councillor Rust welcomed audit training being included in the Members Induction Programme and commented that it was necessary to undertake the self-assessment exercise to ascertain if the Committee was doing their job properly and concurred with the views expressed on the importance for regular training.


Councillor Storey added that he was in favour of receiving regular training in relation to topics considered by the Committee and commented that in his view it was up to the individual  Councillors to ask officers if they did not understand the information to be presented.


Councillor Gidney stated that he was also in favour of receiving training to assist the Committee to understand the data presented.


Councillor Morley proposed an additional recommendation c) which was seconded by Councillor Mrs Collingham and agreed by the Committee:


It is mandatory for Audit Committee Members to undertake appropriate induction and regular refresher training and that officers present data in a manner which is more understandable.


RESOLVED:  In reviewing the areas of partial and non-compliance identified by the self-assessment process and reported at Appendix 1 to the Report, the Audit Committee resolved that:


(a)   the Improvement Plan for outcomes which would deliver and therefore demonstrate, that best practice in Audit had been adopted, would be put into practice;


(b)   it shall be mandatory, for Members to be eligible to vote at Audit Committee, to undertake appropriate induction and regular refresher training; and


(c)   Officers will present reports and data in a manner which is more concise, understandable and complimentary with and to, the training programme.





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