Agenda item


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The Internal Audit Manager presented the report and explained that it summarised the work undertaken by the Internal Audit Team.


The Committee’s attention was drawn to Section 2.2 of the report and explained that the overall opinion in relation to the framework of governance, risk management and control at the Borough Council was reasonable which was a positive message.  It was highlighted that one audit on Procurement and Contract Management had resulted in a Limited assurance grade.  Five audits had received the high assurance grading of Substantial.


The Internal Audit Manager provided an overview of the work undertaken by the Internal Audit Team as set out in section 3.3 and the Follow up management actions set out in section 3.4 and Issues for inclusion in the Annual Governance Statement set out at section 3.5 of the report.


The Committee’s attention was also drawn to section 5 of the report and the performance indicators set out on page 51 and the Appendices.


The Chair thanked the Internal Audit Manager for the report and invited comments and questions from the Committee, a summary of which is set out below.


In response to a question from Councillor Bearshaw, the Internal Audit Manager confirmed that the three year programme was currently on track and provided an overview on how the annual work programme was put together and that reports would be presented during the year.  The Committee was advised that the annual work programme could be amended if required and that the main areas were covered on a three yearly basis.


In response to questions from the Chair, Councillor Ryves on the performance indicator outcomes set out at 5.2.1 – performance indicator outcomes and the percentage of Internal Audit recommendations adopted by Management was 90% and was the 10% being side stepped, the Internal Audit Manager explained that the reason for the target of 90% as a service was suggested  controlled improvements for management  The Internal Audit Manager added that on the whole, Internal Audit would want to suggest improvements to management which were  pragmatic and that management would be happy to take forward  However, it was noted that there would be an occasions when Internal Audit would be unwilling to accept a risk and the service area would be more willing to accept risk and this was the professional judgement of Internal Audit.  Members were advised that were those situations occurred any rejected recommendations would come back to the Audit Committee for discussion.


The Senior Internal Auditor explained that the result of 99.17% there were 129 recommendations in the last financial year and one recommendation was not accepted.


Following a question from Councillor de Winton on what happened if a recommendation was not accepted, the Internal Audit Manager explained that this would be discussed with the Audit Committee and advised that there were none to report in the current progress report.  However, any rejections would be highlighted to the Audit Committee who could then ask questions and request the relevant officer to attend the Committee or alternatively the Committee could determine to refer the matter to Cabinet.


Following a supplementary question from Councillor de Winton on the values given to the recommendations, the Internal Audit Manager explained that there were three ratings for each recommendation – high, medium and low and that if a low rating recommendation was rejected that would be less of a concern.


In response to a question from the Chair, Councillor Ryves on page 54 and the following audits receiving limited assurance – Alive West Norfolk, Capital Programme and Waste Management, the Audit Manager explained that the Capital Programme would be included in the annual work plan, waste management would be considered during 2023/2024 and Alive West Norfolk would be discussed later in the agenda as there were outstanding recommendations but highlighted that the annual programme could change.


At the invitation of the Chair, the Portfolio Holder for Finance commented that he had attended a recent webinar and that future auditing arrangements would focus more on value for money and asked if this would be translated into the Council’s own Internal Audit Team.  In response, the Interna Audit Manager advised that value for money was already a consideration in the work undertaken by the Internal Audit Team.


RESOLVED:  The Audit Committee received and approved the Annual Internal Audit Opinion report 2022/23.


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