Agenda item


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The Internal Audit Manager explained that the report sought to provide an update on the status of all internal audit recommendations highlighting management responses where any were over the agreed deadline for completion and not yet implemented.


The Internal Audit Manager explained that this was a fairly new report for the Committee and explained that before a report was presented on high level audit recommendations not completed, but not to this degree and that the report represented an improvement and enhancement of the process.  The Audit Committee now saw everything that was significant and open at the Council.  It was explained that where Internal Audit had started to list the recommendations, there was a higher number and was now pleased to report that 83 had been closed down since the process started which represented a good improvement but needed to keep the pressure on to reduce the number further.


The Internal Audit Manager explained that relevant officers would be requested to submit evidence to the Internal Audit Team to sign off an outstanding recommendation.  The report would be presented to the Committee on a twice yearly basis, but the Internal Audit Manager added that it may need to be presented on a more regular basis but this would have a resource implication.


The Chair invited questions and comments from the Committee, a summary of which is set out below.


In response to questions from Councillor Bearshaw on resolving recommendations, the Internal Audit Manager drew the Committee’s attention to Appendix 1 – Status of Agreed Internal Audit Recommendation which could relate to software, developments in service areas, resource, etc.  It was explained that the manager’s comments provided an idea of what the delays were about. The recommendations would start a discussion for improvement and provide an enhanced control framework.


In response to a question from Councillor Devulapalli on the Service Level Agreement not being signed for Alive West Norfolk, governance, etc, the Internal Audit Manager explained that there were a number of reports and gave an example, of outstanding  recommendations were done and a different review to be carried out in a different year some were still open.  The Committee’s attention was drawn to page 101 any recommendations raised by the Internal Audit Team and details were provided on appendices relating to the 2 high, 1 medium and 3 low risks. It was noted that the low risks were not reported to the Committee.


The Chair, Councillor Ryves commented that a representative from Alive West Norfolk be invited to attend the Audit Committee.  The Internal Audit Manager suggested that the Committee tackled the older recommendations first.  Councillor de Winton added that these comments and questions should be directed to the Portfolio Holder to address the issues to resolve the recommendations.  Councillor Bearshaw concurred with the comments made by Councillor de Winton.


Following a further comment from the Chair, Councillor Ryves on the frequency the report was presented to the Committee, the Internal Audit Manager received it twice yearly and that whilst there were a number of outstanding recommendations there might be a need for the Committee to receive the report more regularly but advised that would mean additional work for officers to obtain updates.  The Chair added that it may be useful for the Committee to be kept informed of progress to determine if this was an item to be placed on the work plan.


The Senior Internal Auditor explained that a review on the overdue recommendations agreed had been undertaken in October 2022 and there were 70 low, 67 medium and 2 high overdue..  It was highlighted that when the review was undertaken in May 2023, there were  6 high, 28 medium and 18 low overdue which provided an update on the number of recommendations signed off.


Councillor de Winton commented that it was important for the Audit Committee to be aware of any difficulties resolving outstanding recommendations.  The Internal Audit Manager thanked the Committee for their support.


Following a question on information being available on car parking enforcement, the Internal Audit Manager advised that there was no update available but would request the information from the officer and circulate to the Audit Committee.


RESOLVED:  The Audit Committee received the Internal Audit Follow Up of Outstanding Recommendations report.


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