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Agenda item


To consider a summary of the work completed by Audit and Risk Services in quarter one of the 2022/23 financial year.


Ms Tracy Greenhalgh, Head of Audit and Risk, provided the Committee with a summary of the work completed by Audit and Risk Services in quarter one of the 2022/23 financial year. In particular she noted that in relation to risk management 100% of the scheduled risk management groups had been held in the quarter with risk workshops facilitated for the Care Cap trailblazer project and ZEBRA zero carbon bus network project. Work to review service level business continuity plans and transfer the plans onto a new template was ongoing and once reviewed, the Corporate Business Continuity Plan would be updated. In relation to risk registers, at the end of Quarter 1, the overall completion rate had decreased from 89% (as at 31st March 2022), to 87% (as at 30th June 2022) due to directorate staffing changes that occurred during the quarter.


The Committee discussed the Internal Audit performance indicators and noted that the percentage of audit plans completed was significantly low at 16%. Ms Greenhalgh explained that this was currently not a cause for concern and work from the previous year was often being completed in quarter one. An improvement in quarter two was expected. In relation to the key performance indicators for Children’s Services, the Committee expressed concerns that an extension had already been given. A proactive approach to tackling this had been taken with meetings taking place at a senior level to ensure completion by the end of September. The Committee was assured that mandatory training via ipool was monitored and the Corporate Leadership Team informed of any areas of low completion.


Ms Greenhalgh provided the Committee with a detailed summary of the work undertaken in the quarter which had included commissioning and compliance with standard operating procedures. A split assurance had been given and Ms Greenhalgh clarified that although the controls in place were adequate for the commissioning function within the Commissioning and Adult Services Teams, concerns had been identified in relation to aspects of the commissioning process within Children’s Services for which an inadequate assurance had been given. Work was underway to address these concerns.


In relation to the Conference Centre a split assurance had been given for the reason that controls around the actual build of the conference centre were inadequate although it was acknowledged that some of the issues were outside of the Council’s direct control, however no priority one recommendations had been made as lessons learned had been identified and would be considered for future projects. Mr A Cavill, Director of Communications and Regeneration, advised the Committee that the venue was busy and had the benefit of technology to host gaming events and online conferences. In relation to future projects, Mr Cavill advised the committee that design and build contracts would not be split and that local contractors would be used where possible.


Audit testing had been carried out at Layton Primary School and a split assurance had been given due to a lack of controls relating to the unofficial school fund which created unnecessary risk. Work was underway to address the issues.


The Committee was provided with an update on priority one recommendations and was advised that during quarter one no directed or covert surveillance had taken place under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA).


The Committee discussed the fraud and error statistics and in particular the single persons council tax discount. Ms Greehalgh summarised the work carried out to ensure all claims were valid and noted that this work was supported by the National Fraud Initiative. In relation to concerns expressed by the Committee in relation to the high number of priority one and two recommendations in Commissioning, Ms Greenhalgh advised that this issue may be brought to a future Committee for additional assurance as part of the follow-up process.


The Committee requested that further information be sought in relation to insurance claims, particularly the ratio for claims made versus claims paid and Ms Greenhalgh agreed to provide the Committee with defensibility rate information if available.


Resolved: To note the report.

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