Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
5.1 The Committee considered a report by the Director of Finance and Support Services, and the Head of Southern Internal Audit Partnership (copy appended to the signed minutes).
5.2 Mr Harvey, Southern Internal Audit Partnership, introduced the report and advised that the 2018/19 audit opinion provided ‘adequate assurance’ on the Councils overall framework of governance, risk management and control and that most work had now been undertaken. He highlighted that audit findings generally reflected the areas for improvement found by the Corporate Peer Challenge and the Ofsted Inspection of Children’s Services and he confirmed that action was being planned to address the limited assurances in these areas. He thanked County Council officers for their cooperation and support during the audits.
5.3 The Committee made comments including those that follow. It:
• Noted the ‘adequate assurance’ conclusion was roughly in line with comparable local authorities and acknowledged that it was difficult for a large, diverse organisation like the County Council to improve on this.
• Asked for the table reflecting officers progress in implementing actions arising from audit reports to be included in all future reports, including the annual opinion.
• Hoped that the move to the Southern Audit Partnership had not led to any reduction in internal audit activity. The Director of Finance and Support Services confirmed that there had been no reductions.
• Noted that the auditors’ work would not overlap with other inspections, such as the Ofsted inspection, although some common themes could be identified and acted upon.
• Expressed concern about delays in DBS checks for taxi drivers undertaking home to school transport being re-done every three years in line with the Council’s policy. The Director of Finance and Support Services advised that a better process was now in place for them to be renewed every three years, but agreed to update the Committee on progress.
5.4 Resolved – That the annual audit report for the year ended 31 March 2019 be approved.
Publication date: 30/08/2019
Date of decision: 22/07/2019
Decided at meeting: 22/07/2019 - Regulation, Audit and Accounts Committee