To receive a report from the Director of Law & Governance presenting the Internal Audit Plan 2019/20 and the Internal Audit Charter.
RECEIVED the report of the Director of Law and Governance setting out the Draft 2019/20 Internal Audit Plan and Internal Audit Charter.
1. Gemma Young presented the draft Internal Audit Plan, which remains under discussion with Executive Directors and Directors.
2. The Internal Audit Charter sets up the purpose, probability and possibility of internal audit and is presented to the Committee yearly for approval as part of the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS).
3. The draft plan had been developed in discussion with senior managers of the Council and with other audit teams in London, who are facing the issues. So, the department gets together with these audit teams and look at the big issues they are facing.
The team also use their cumulative auditor knowledge and experience of issues they have noticed in other audits around the organisation. The team also consider risk registers in how the audit plan is developed.
4. In terms of detail regarding the 2019/20 draft plan (as detailed from page 51 of the report), there are 7 cross cutting audits, across the organisation, detailed at page 51 of the report. The audits are then broken down into the various Council departments: Chief Executives, Resources, People, Place, Trading Companies and Schools.
5. The following questions and queries raised in response to the report:
a. The committee asked what had changed in the Internal Audit Charter from last year’s one. Gemma Young (Head of Internal Audit & Risk Management) clarified that this was an update report with very few changes. There had not been any changes to the PSIAS which affects the charter.
b. Peter Nwosu (Independent Member) referred to the Brexit cross cutting risk (page 51 of the report) which did not have a time line despite the objective seeming to refer to it as happening now. Gemma Young clarified that it would be her decision when to make the Brexit audit would occur, in order to add value and ensure timely delivery of assurance. Gemma Young also sits on the Council’s Brexit Panel.
c. Councillor David-Sanders queried the Draft Audit Plan as regards the many ‘To be Confirmed’ entries in terms of audit timing. Would the audits be equally distributed throughout the year or would there be heavy quarters and light quarters’. He was conscious of the fact that there are a lot of audit days within the plan. Gemma Young clarified that that was the reason for the many ‘to be confirmed’ entries because they have been agreed in principal by Directors’. Most of the plan (80% - 90%) is agreed but this audit committee comes quite early in March. With the timings, Gemma Young was keen to not overload certain departments i.e. Finance would be very busy in Quarter 4 so no audits programmed then. So, Gemma Young was very keen to agree the timings with Directors so as not to overload officers. She preferred quite heavy quarters for Q1, Q2 and Q3 and then Q4 would be mainly intended for finishing and tidying up audits in year. At the June 2019 Audit & Risk Management Committee meeting, the quarters will be set apart from the Brexit risk.
d. Peter Nwosu (Independent Member) queried the volume of the draft plan and if an assessment had been made for capacity and how big was Gemma’s team. Gemma Young clarified that her team were at 90% capacity. The team always have some audits drop out throughout the year or are moved to the following years audit plan. Audits are also added throughout the year and things usually balance themselves out through the year.
AGREED to note the 2019/20 Draft Internal Audit Plan and Internal Audit Charter, to permit the Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management to agree the plan with Executive Directors and Directors and to report the final plan to the Audit & Risk Management Committee in June 2019 and to permit the Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management to proceed with audits planned for Q1 2019/20.