(Link to Council Priorities: PC8)
The Committee considered a report on the effectiveness of the system of Internal Audit.
The Accounts and Audit Regulations (Amendment) (England) stated that “the relevant body shall, at least once in each year, conduct a review of the effectiveness of its system of internal audit”.
In order to satisfy this requirement, consideration was given in the report to:
· statutory requirements for Internal Audit;
· compliance with the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards;
· External Audit assessment;
· Internal Audit output / outcomes 2018/19; and
· the Improvement Plan for 2019/20.
The aims and objectives of Internal Audit were set out in its Service Plan, and these largely focussed on fulfilling statutory requirements and compliance with professional standards.
As the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS) defined the way in which the Internal Audit service should undertake its functions, the Head of Internal Audit advised the Committee that compliance with the PSIAS had been reviewed through an annual self-assessment. This self-assessment had found that the Team conforms with the standards in all the key areas. In addition, an external assessment, which is undertaken every five years, was carried out in the summer of 2018 and Internal Audit had been found to substantially conform to the PSIAS requirement.
The Committee was pleased to note that resulting from the review, the Strategic Director and Deputy Chief Executive / Section 151 Officer was able to confirm that an effective system of Internal Audit was in place during 2018/19 and was being maintained for 2019/20.
During consideration of the report and specifically in respect of the Internal Audit output / outcomes for 2018/19, one Member queried the use of the word ‘management’, as referred to in paragraph 2.10 of the report, and asked whether this should read the Chief Executive. The Head of Internal Audit commented that the term ‘management’ covered various posts within the Council including the Section 151 Officer. In order to be clearer in future reports, it was agreed that the word ‘management’ be replaced with ‘the Section 151 Officer’.
Resolved that the report on the Effectiveness of the System of Internal Audit be received and noted.