Agenda item


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The Senior Internal Auditor presented the report which sought to provide an update on the status of all internal audit recommendations, highlighting management responses where any are over the agreed deadline for completion.


The Committee was advised that the current position in relation to the outstanding internal audit recommendations was shown within the attached report.


Members were advised that unfortunately, there had been slow progress demonstrated with a total of 26 recommendations being closed since the last report.  It was noted that the report contained an error where it stated “there were some recommendations for which updated had not been received”, following follow up activities concluding a response was received for all outstanding recommendations.  The report now contained a total of 59 outstanding Internal Audit recommendations (4 high, 26 medium and 29 low).  A further 52 recommendations were not yet due for implementation.  This had increased since the last report in May 2023 where 52 recommendations were outstanding and 36 were not yet due.


The Senior Internal Auditor explained that Appendix 1 to the report showed the details of the progress made to date in relation to the implementation of the agreed recommendations.  The appendix also reflected the year in which the audit was undertaken to enable the Committee to easily identify historical outstanding recommendations.


It was explained that Appendices 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 to the report showed the details of any high and medium priority outstanding recommendations split by the year in which they were raised.  The outstanding recommendations included within each appendix also provided a progress update and details of the total number of days the recommendations were overdue.


The Chair thanked the Senior Internal Auditor for the report and invited the Committee to ask questions/comment, a summary of which is set out below.


In response to a question from Councillor Devulapalli in relation to the Council being too ambitious to complete the outstanding recommendations,   the Senior Internal Auditor explained that in his opinion he did not think so.  The Committee was advised that upon completion of an audit recommendations and timescales were agreed with the responsible officer.  However, Covid, etc had impacted on implementation/responses.  The Senior Internal Auditor added that the Internal Audit Team were looking to review the recommendations on a more frequent basis, roughly every eight weeks across the organisation.


Councillor Dark explained that his understanding was that the Council’s car parking strategy was originally boroughwide to include Hunstanton and Downham Market, etc and not just King’s Lynn.  The Senior Internal Auditor undertook to liaise with the relevant officer and provide a response to the Committee.


The Senior Internal Auditor responded to questions from Councillor Everett on starters and leavers and the next steps to bring a number of recommendations to fruition. The Assistant Director, Resources outlined the discussion from the previous meeting and the Committee would have received the audit results and recommendations.  The Assistant Director explained that this report was looking into the recommendations that came out of that audit and the deadline for those recommendations had not yet come up but would be addressed ahead of the deadline.


In response to comments from the Chair on the large number of recommendations and what could be done about reducing the number, the Assistant Director explained that when the report was first brought to the Committee there were a number of recommendations on hold due to Covid and the recovery process.  There were around 140 outstanding recommendations and outlined the reasons why the report was presented to the Audit Committee.  Currently there were 59 outstanding and can demonstrate there has been  a lot of improvement in terms of reducing the number down but what it didn’t show since the last report was how many were on the that list and how many were new.  The Senior Internal Auditor had been asked to look at the new recommendations.


The Chair commented that 4 of the 59 recommendations were marked as high priority and 26 medium priority and would normally been a red flag.  The Assistant Director, Resources explained that 3 related to the capital programme, 1 related to procurement and project management.  The Committee was informed that it was probably best to look at the details to see what the situation was around the progress and to get the assurance that there were actions in progress but could not be completed and signed off at this stage.


The Senior Internal Auditor explained that the Internal Audit Team had met to discuss managing the outstanding recommendations database and advised that the Team carry out more frequent reviews and follow-up activities with the organisation.  The Team  also looked around the escalation process towards the end of January 2024 to improve the position.  The Chair asked if the updated information could be forwarded to the Committee, the Senior Internal Auditor undertook to circulate the information when available.


Councillor Bearshaw asked if the outstanding recommendation on 1 – financial stability and 13 -  contract failure been captured in the risk register .  In response, the Senior Internal Auditor undertook to discuss the point raised with the Senior Corporate Governance and Risk Officer/Climate Change Manager.




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




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