Agenda item

Internal Audit 2021-22 Update Report


RESOLVED: That the report be noted.


REASONS RESOLVED: The Committee’s consideration of this update was needed to ensure the Council complied with the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards and the Accounts and Audit Regulations.


At the Chair’s invitation the Chief Internal Auditor presented the report, copies of which had been previously circulated. It was advised this the report was a routine update. The forecast for the completion of all audits was given, 75% of all audits were expected to reach draft stage by the 31st of March 2022, with 100% of the plan completed by the 31st May (if all goes to plan), there would be a slight overlap into the new year. The overlap was due to the closing of the shared services which had presented resource challenges. An agreement had recently been formed with Binder Dijker Otte (BDO) to supplement internal resources, as such there should be no impact on the 2022/23 resources.


The Chair asked if certain numbers mentioned the action tracker could be explained. The Chief Internal Auditor noted that these were usually explained in a footnote which was missing from the report. The committee was informed that the amount mentioned was not real money, but a formula applied to quantify and would have no impact on WNC finances.





Councillors made the following comments.

  • The report stated that a grant obligation had been addressed by the service, there seemed to be brief conflict, could this be clarified?
  • During the pre-session with auditors a potential fraud had been mentioned regarding loans provided to small businesses during Covid, it was queried whether there had really been no fraud discovered.
  • It was noted that the report mentioned £65,000 cash, had this been resolved or was it an on-going risk.
  • Work on IT recovery was mentioned, it was felt this was especially important, could the percentage given be explained?


The Chief Internal Auditor made the following comments in response to some of the councillors’ queries.


  • The grant application identified had been addressed in conjunction with the service, it wasn’t believed to have created any financial loss to the service.
  • A fraud had been prevented, with a briefing note due to be completed and sent to the Executive Director of Finance. This could be shared with the chair should they wish to see it; this would not normally be shared in a public meeting as it could contain confidential information.
  • The NFI (National Fraud Investigation) data matching was carried out and had included data matches from across the country, this had been an anti-fraud exercise, and had been carried out previously by the council. Internal Audit were not currently aware of any fraud that had taken place around this issue at WNC.
  • Money for the pension fund was an on-going risk with the main issue being the speed at which the council was notified of a person’s death.
  • It was advised that the green, amber, and red used in the audit action tracker was not to show whether an item was overdue but as a visual aid for the reader.
  • It was noted that there needed to be further engagement with services who use interface payments.
  • The committee was advised that with regards to the IT recovery audit, the percentage mentioned was the amount of the audit completed and not the level of assurance. Internal Audit are not able to give an assurance level as they are only part way through the audit.


The Assistant Director of Finance for Accountancy noted that with regards to potential fraud within the grants given there had been a risk and balance. The council had tried to mitigate any potential fraud by making sure that the process was robust. The process had also been monitored throughout and cross references carried out, this information can be provided from the relevant government department.


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