Internal Audit Monitoring Report
- Meeting of Audit, Compliance and Governance Committee, Tuesday, 24th January, 2023 6.00 pm (Item 5.)
Lucy Cater, Assistant Director, SWAP Internal Audit Services
The Assistant Director of SWAP introduced her report, which presented an update of work undertaken since the last meeting, and a list of recommendations to be followed up, two of which have been actioned since the report was drafted. With work about to start on the draft Audit Plan for the coming year, she invited Members to suggest any areas they would like to be included.
A Member said, as Chair of Licensing and very aware of the importance of taxi safeguarding, he welcomed the fact that the licensing team felt able to ask for this to be looked at and to receive constructive criticism from someone outside the process. He thanked the SWAP team for undertaking this important work.
In response to Member questions, the Assistant Director, SWAP, confirmed that:
- with the introduction of a new, more flexible approach to audit, a core set of audits will be carried forward, with the introduction of an audit liaison whereby auditors talk to service managers on a quarterly basis to identify areas which need auditing at that particular time rather than sticking to a fixed audit plan. This will give more flexibility and also reflect the resources in the team;
- regarding the lack of KPIs from Publica and Members’ suspicions about the reliability of what they are telling Overview and Scrutiny Committee about their performance, the agreed actions will be followed and a piece of work will be undertaken by SWAP to investigate the matter;
- auditor judgement is used in the metrics system of priorities and red/amber/green flags – a score may be brought down by some consideration or observation in the report which is noted but doesn’t warrant any action or recommendation;
- she was unable to comment on what was being audited in respect of the Minster Exchange project as a different SWAP team was doing that piece of work. She believed they had all the information they needed and that the draft report was with Cheltenham;
- where an item is listed as ‘in progress’ it is being worked on by the team – it isn’t a euphemism for being late; although it might be helpful to have a ‘due date’ on the reports, this would not work with the new flexible audit plan;
- regarding management of risk, the model used to assess CBC’s risks (identifying Levels 1, 2 etc) was introduced by the Executive Director for Place and Communities. This can be shared with Members if they wish, to give them the full context.
A Member asked whether, with Clearview going into administration, it was inevitable that the council will be relying on third party providers for data processes and software, and whether it was under SWAP’s remit to identify vulnerabilities and ensure strategies were in place to deal with them. The Chief Technology Officer confirmed that his team was involved in the Clearview recovery, that the data was retrieved and a new system set up by CBC within three days, and this was running until a new provided could be found. This would have been included in the contract when Clearview was procured. He confirmed that the ongoing risk of other third parties failing is a major consideration, and whereas historically CBC concentrated on internal risk with all systems within the council’s boundaries, the focus was moving to the external third party supply risk, working with different parts of CBC to ensure the correct contracts are in place. Building this into the total cost of ownership enables good decisions whether to host internally or externally.
Returning to an earlier Member question concerning the Minster Exchange, the Executive Director for Finance and Assets confirmed that a draft report had been written and was being reviewed for factual accuracies and timelines, with a firm commitment the outcome of the review by Overview and Scrutiny Committee will determine at what level the report is scrutinised at this committee to avoid duplication of effort.
No vote was required on this item.
- Internal Audit Progress Report, January 2023, item 5. PDF 360 KB
- Appendix A - Report of Internal Audit Activity, January 2023, item 5. PDF 697 KB
- Appendix B - CBC Agreed Actions, item 5. PDF 204 KB