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.
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.
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 committee that in the past, Chairs of Governors and Head Teachers were invited along to committee to answer any questions.
b. The Chair asked how the target of 75 (Council House recoveries) was set. Christine Webster clarified that the team aimed for this figure yearly and was based as a target figure that was historically used.
c. The figure of 17 temporary accommodation recoveries was achieved as from the beginning of April 2017 and was an accumulating figure.
d. Christine Webster confirmed that police officers are no longer based within Council fraud teams. However, the team do have links to the police service if required.
AGREED to note the progress made in delivering the Audit and Risk Management Service’s 2017/18 work plan and the outcomes achieved to date.