Issue - meetings

WHISTLE BLOWING POLICY

Meeting: 26/07/2018 - Audit and Risk Management Committee (Item 687)

687 INTERNAL AUDIT PROGRESS REPORT 2018/19 - 20:20 - 20:30 pdf icon PDF 309 KB

To receive the report of the Executive Director Resources summarising the work that the Internal Audit and Risk Management Service (ARMS) has completed for the period April to July 2018.

 

 (Report No.53)

(TO FOLLOW)

 

 

 

Minutes:

RECEIVED the report of the Executive Director of Resources summarising the work that the Internal Audit and Risk Management Service (ARMS) had completed for the period 1 April to 30 June 2018.

 

NOTED

 

1.    This was the regular progress report that Christine Webster (Head of Internal Audit) presents to the Audit & Risk Management Committee. To report to the committee how the Internal Audit Service is progressing with the delivery of the Internal Audit Plan for the year.

2.    This report presented the results of where the service are up to  as at 30 June 2018. The chart at 3.4 (page 16) of the report details the proportion of the audit plan at different stages.

3.    52% of the plan had been started and 3% had reached completion. The teams target is to achieve 95% of the plan to draft report stage by the end of the year.

4.    There had been some changes to the plan since it was first agreed and there have been 15 new assignments added with 2 to be deferred. Annex 2 (page 24 of the1st to follow agenda) details why those changes were made.

5.    There were 2 audits that had been completed and are detailed at 3.6 (page 17 of the1st to follow agenda).

6.    As detailed at chart 2 (page 17 of the1st to follow agenda) a summary of managers progress with implementing agreed audit actions from audit reports. From the audit reports completed over the past 2 years (and have been brought forward), the team have tracked 96 recommendations and 25 of those led to high risk areas. Overall, 44% of the high risk recommendations have been implemented, 11% of the medium risk ones and the rest have been progressed. This meant some action had been taken but not fully progressed. The team would continue to follow those until fully implemented.

7.    In terms of the Counter Fraud Service, the team achievements have been summarised at Table 2 (page 18 of the1st to follow agenda). In terms of council house recoveries, the team have an annual target of 60 and 40 temporary accommodation recoveries to achieve during the year. The team are already ahead of the profile on that and have achieved 70 council house recoveries and 10 temporary accommodation recoveries.

8.    In terms of savings, the team tries to identify savings for the council which could have been lost to fraud and are already over half of their target.

9.    Christine Webster also oversees the Insurance and Risk Management Service and Risk Register. The remainder of the report was about Internal Audit quality assurance measures and table 3 (page 18 of the1st to follow agenda) provides targets aimed for and the achievements to date.

10. The following issues raised in response to the report:

a.    Peter Nwosu raised some questions regarding agreed timescales with managers for implementing audit recommendations. He was trying to establish how many of the high risk recommendations were overdue, where a time was agreed but actually were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 687


Meeting: 28/09/2017 - Audit and Risk Management Committee (Item 260)

260 INTERNAL AUDIT PROGRESS REPORT 2017/18 - 20:00 - 20:10 pdf icon PDF 508 KB

To receive the report of the Executive Director of Finance, Resources & Customer Services summarising the work that the Internal Audit and Risk Management Service (ARMS) has completed for the April to September 2017.

 

 (Report No.61)

 

 

 

Minutes:

RECEIVED the report of the Director of Finance, Resources & Customer Services summarising the work that the Internal Audit and Risk Management Service (ARMS) had completed for the period 1 April 2017 to1September 2017.

 

NOTED

 

1.    During the review period, the internal audit team had commenced 77% of the current plan of which 7% had been completed. The team were still aiming to get 95% of the plan to draft report stage by the end of March 2018. All indications show that the team are on track to achieve that. Chart 1 (page 14) at para 3.4 of the report provides a summary.

2.    As detailed at table 1 (page 15) para 3.5 of the report, 11 assignments had been added to the plan since the audit plan had been approved by the Committee in March 2017, including 2 that have been deferred.

3.    As presented at table 2 ( page 15) para 3.6 of the report,  the team have completed 5 assignments so far, with 2 of those resulting in actions for improvement as they had assurance opinion. The other 3 were completed assurance maps for trading companies. Those where improvements were needed the team were trying to analyse those findings in terms of themes and those are presented at chart 2 (page 16) para 3.6 of the report.

4.    In terms of Managers progress with the implementation of internal audit recommendations, this is summarised in chart 3 ( page 16) para 3.8 of the report. The team have followed up 190 recommendations since the beginning of the year, relating to 79 high risk ratings and 111 medium risk ratings. Overall 34% of high priority recommendations and 23% medium recommendations had been implemented.

At the time of writing the report, there have been a lot of managers who had not provided the team with a response and were not able to assess their progress. These are shown as red bars in chart 3 (page 16) of the report. Many of these related to schools.

5.    In terms of the Counter Fraud team performance, council housing recoveries totalled 70, which were, illegally bought, sub-let or abandoned. In terms of temporary accommodation, the team were doing better than the profile. In terms of recoveries, financially,  the team were doing very well and there would be no problem achieving the target by the end of the year. Table 4 (page 17) para 3.9 of the report detailed where the savings have come from. The team are also continuing to support the no recourse to public funds (NRPF) team by placing an investigator with them. They are also starting another pilot scheme with the Right to Buy team by putting an investigator within that team also.

6.    Quality assurance targets and achievements are detailed in table 5 (page 18) para 3.16 of the report and the team are on track with this.

7.    In response to the Chair’s request for any questions or comments, the following were discussed:

a.    Councillor Simon informed the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 260


Meeting: 05/07/2017 - Audit and Risk Management Committee (Item 42)

42 WHISTLE BLOWING POLICY - 20:00 - 20:10 pdf icon PDF 367 KB

To receive a report from the Executive Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services providing a Whistle Blowing Policy update.

(Report No.32)

 

Minutes:

RECEIVED the report of the Director of Finance, Resources and Customer Services (No.32) detailing a refreshed policy and updated guidance of the Council’s Whistleblowing Policy.

 

NOTED

 

1.    This was a refresh of the Council’s whistleblowing policy and the main differences include changes made to the contact names detailed in the table on page 140 of the report. The table provides an up to date list of people to contact should anyone have any concerns about whistleblowing.

2.    In addition, there are 3 more points the policy includes:

a.    Anybody receiving a whistleblowing allegation who are not in the Audit & Risk Management team need to report it to Christine Webster (Head – Internal Audit & Risk Management) or someone within her team. As they need to be registered to ensure they are properly followed up, assessed and dealt with.

b.    Where possible the team will respond to people who have made the allegations in order that the findings are not compromised.

c.    A new addition to the policy is that the team will report on an annual basis of the anonymised summary of the outcomes of the allegations made throughout the year.

3.    The following issues raised in response to the report:

a.    Councillor Savva’s request that the policy should also include a further point about encouraging the public to report allegations and that it should be more than internal reporting. He also requested that allegations from councillors should be followed through to avoid councillors repeatedly contacting the team for any outcomes from those allegations. Christine Webster confirmed that the part 2 report (last item) contained some details of whistle blowing allegations.

b.    The Chair’s reply that this should be for another forum, which could be passed on.

 

 

AGREED that the Committee endorse the updated whistleblowing policy, and guidance for its implementation.