Agenda item

Internal Audit Progress Report Q1

Report of the Director – Finance and Corporate Services


Mr Dulay from BDO, the Council’s internal auditors, presented the first report for this financial year, including a summary of the three reviews completed. He drew the Committees attention to the proposed change to the plan, as agreed with management, for the Air Pollution and Fleet Management review to focus solely on Fleet Management


Mr Dulay confirmed that the Internal Audit Plan for 2022/23 was now complete with a summary provided for each of the opinions. He detailed the findings as follows:


Project Management – Hybrid Mail


The review looked at the implementation and ongoing management of the hybrid mail project. A substantial assurance rating on the design control was given with a moderate rating for effectiveness, a medium finding around the retention of documents and two low findings, one regarding evaluation of the project trial period and one regarding tracking of mail to delivery.


Main Financial Systems


This is a cyclical review, focussed on treasury management for this financial year, looking at the controls in place rather than the effectiveness of the strategy.  A substantial assurance was given for both design and controls, with only one, low, finding related to the retention of evidence for the reconciliation between the counterparty monthly statement and the bank statement.


Markets – Income


This review looked at the process for charging market traders and the collection and banking of that income. A substantial assurance was given for both the design and effectiveness of the controls, with only one low finding related to a minor discrepancy between the cash collections spreadsheet and the bank statement. Much good practice was noted.


In addition, Mr Dulay informed the Group that the Government had launched a new Sports Strategy which aimed to get an additional 3.5 million adults and children active by 2030.


Members of the Group referred to air pollution being removed from the fleet review and asked for an explanation as to what was classified as air pollution. Mr Dulay said that air pollution related to air quality, including as part of the County wide air quality strategy. He said that the proposal to remove air pollution was to enable a focus on fleet management controls and said that air pollution was incorporated as part of the Council’s carbon management action plan review of environmentally friendly vehicle replacement options. The Service Manager Finance said that air pollution had been audited as part of the environment audit and had received a high level of assurance.


Members of the Group referred to the market income being cash based and asked whether alternatives such as electronic payments or a combination of both would reduce processing costs and provide greater due diligence, whilst also needing to consider what worked best for the market community. Mr Dulay said that there was a general trend towards becoming cashless but that markets often lent themselves towards being more cash based and that the sums of money involved were relatively low. He said that it was not for BDO to advise the Council as to whether it should make the market cashless as that was a decision for the Council. He explained that BDO’s role was to review the controls that the Council had in place.


Members of the Group referred to the hybrid mail scheme and documents not being filed by a staff member and Mr Dulay said that he could not comment on individuals. He said that it was for management to decide whether retrospective documentation was required and that the process going forward was to have a clear filing structure in place. He said that for the other project management review a moderate and substantial opinion for design and effectiveness had been given.


The Group asked for information about how many email attachments were opened and why they were password protected. The Monitoring Officer said that she would provide an update to the Group.


It was RESOLVED that the Governance Scrutiny Group considers the quarter 1 progress report for 2023/24 (Appendix A) prepared by the Council’s Internal Auditor and the recommended change to the Plan.

Supporting documents: