To receive a report from Gemma Young, Head of Internal Audit and Risk
This was introduced by Gemma Young, Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management.
1. This item comes to every meeting to update the Committee members.
2. Significant progress has been made delivering the 2020/21 audit plan, 94% of reviews have commenced, with 45% finalised. This compares to 98% commencement and 42% finalised this time last year. Therefore, despite the Covid risk of not having enough of a body of work to deliver a Head of Internal Audit annual opinion. This risk has now gone, and officers are confident that there will be enough work to deliver an opinion
3. Since the audit plan was agreed in July 2020, 21 audits have been cancelled some due to Covid, and added 6 to the plan.
4. 22 audits have been completed since the start of the year. 13 were grant certifications or management letters and therefore no assurance opinion is given. Of the nine remaining audits, one was given Substantial assurance, four Reasonable assurance, and four Limited assurance
5. With the support of the Assurance Board there has been a substantial improvement in the implementation of agreed actions over the last year. The implementation rate for high risk actions (on a 12-month rolling basis) is 78% and for medium risk actions is 71%. There is a summary of overdue actions in the appendices to the report
6. The report includes metrics for the Insurance team on pages 243-245 of the pack.
7. Due to Covid most litigation has come to a standstill this year. It is expected that courts will not reopen fully until spring this year with the inevitable delay that will follow.
8. No Covid related claims have been received, some claims have been made against care home providers but not aware of any claims made against any local authorities.
9. Currently in the process of renewing the Council’s insurance policies. There has been an increased across the board for insurance companies so premium increases (and possibly restricted cover) is expected.
Comments, questions & queries:
· Regarding pages 243-244 there are no claims for 2019/20 confirmation was requested whether there were any claims. Officers confirmed that there were claims, the table on page 243 details the litigated successes. Table 7 is the significant claims, there is not always significant claims in year, and it can take a while for something to become a major claim.
· Following a query, it was confirmed that substantial is the best assurance rating.
· Limited assurance was given for Treasury Management around the high risk for the CHAPS & BACS process. The report stated that although controls are in place to ensure there is independent review and approval of payments, there is still scope to tighten up the approvals process. It was queried what this work was and how quickly this could be resolved. Officers advised that one of the issues was that there was not a list of authorised signatories. The testing found that everyone who had signed was from senior management and was who would be expected to sign off. It was felt that there were control issues and that some processes needed to be formalised.
AGREED to note the Audit & Risk Management Service Progress Update