(Link to Council Priorities: PC8)
The Committee was advised that the Accounts and Audit Regulations required Local Authorities to ‘maintain an adequate and effective system of Internal Audit of its accounting records and of its system of internal control in accordance with proper Internal Audit practices’. In this regard, the Internal Audit Annual Plan set out how the Authority would fulfil statutory and professional requirements.
The Annual Plan was reviewed on a regular basis and priorities would be changed according to perceived risks.
The Head of Internal Audit reported that the planned Internal Audit activity for 2019/20 totalled 300 days and would be resourced through a mixture of in-house staff and resources commissioned from Surrey County Council. The 2019/20 budget for the service had been set at £182,000.
During consideration of the report, one of the Independent Members queried the significant level of budget that had been set for Internal Audit for 2019/20. The Head of Internal Audit advised that the budget also included internal recharges. To be helpful, he agreed that for future reports, he would report the budget figure excluding the internal recharges for the service.
With regard to the Internal Audit Plan, as set out at Appendix A to the report, one of the Independent Members queried Annex 1 which set out the planned audits for 2019/20 together with the planned days. In this regard, he commented that the planned audits should be more specific and for each area of audit work to be undertaken, a specific number of days should be identified rather than a cumulative figure. The Independent Member considered that this would provide a better understanding of where the agreed 300 days of audit resources would be distributed. Whilst it was acknowledged that the Committee should be focussing on the outcomes of the audit work rather than the number of planned days, the Head of Internal Audit agreed to consider this suggestion when preparing future reports.
Resolved that the Internal Audit Annual Plan for 2019/20 be adopted.