Agenda item

Progress and Follow Up Report on Internal Audit Activity: 17 September to 25 November 2022


This report examines the progress made between 17 september 2022 to 25 november 2022 in relation to delivery of the annual internal audit plan for 2022/23 and provides details of any outstanding internal audit recommendations.



The report contains an update on progress against the Internal Audit Plan for 2022/23 and progress against the completion of   internal audit recommendations.


It is recommended that the Committee receives internal audit progress and progress against internal audit recommendations within the period covered by the report. 





Contact Officer, telephone number, and e?mail:

Faye Haywood


01508 533873





The HIA introduced the item and informed Members that the report contained an exempt appendix with controls related to two audits that were considered to have a commercial nature. She added that there had also been some significant changes to the agreed audit plan, such as NN2304 on risk management that had been deferred into the next financial year to allow the new DFR time to familiarise themselves with the organisation. It was noted that finance system was also new to officers, which meant that it was not an ideal time to undertake financial audits. The HIA reported that 67 days of programmed work had been completed, and the Team were on-track to provide an audit opinion as expected. She added that the Pier Pavilion audit had been given a limited assurance grading, with four urgent and three important recommendations. It was noted that the recommendations related mostly to finalising the contract and adding necessary appendices. The HIA reported that the Building Control audit had been given a reasonable assurance grading, with one important recommendation to ensure that certificates were signed-off under delegation in accordance with the constitution. She added that the Legal Services audit had been given a substantial assurance grading with no recommendations. It was noted that overdue audit recommendations were highlighted in the second half of the report, with the number of revisions listed. The HIA noted that updates had been provided by responsible officers, and the ADP was in attendance to provide an update on implementation of S106 recommendations.


Questions and Discussion


       i.          Cllr S Penfold referred to outstanding audit recommendations and asked whether it was possible to provide further clarification on the progress of implementation. The HIA replied that the original due dates and revisions were listed, but evidence was required to formally sign-off recommendations as complete, therefore it was difficult to estimate progress. She added that this information should be sought from the officers responsible for implementing recommendations.


      ii.          The ADP reported that the S106 software had gone live, which was an important milestone related to two audit reviews which dated back as far as nine years. He added that officers would now look to deliver a Member Briefing to demonstrate the software and how it would be used, and though an officer was not yet in place to support the system, interviews were scheduled for 19th December. It was noted that the second recommendation related to spending deadlines for S106 agreements, and this would be addressed by the S106 Monitoring Officer, once in post. The ADP stated that recommendation four related to the notification of Parish and Town Councils of available funds, and whist the software did allow them to search for existing S106 agreements, full support could not be offered until the Monitoring Officer post was filled. He added that meetings would be held with Parish and Town Councils in the new year to introduce them to the service and offer support. It was noted that the final recommendation sought to ensure that S106 expenditure was agreed  in a clear and transparent manner, with the new software allowing transparent decision-making, monitoring and recording of decisions.


     iii.          It was confirmed following a question from Cllr A Brown that the S106 Monitoring Officer post would be permanent.


    iv.          It was confirmed following a question from Cllr C Cushing that the number of active S106 agreements by ward could provided to Members for consideration. Cllr C Cushing asked whether it was possible to provide an approximate number of S106 agreements in place and the level of funding available. The ADP replied that this information would be readily available via the software package, and the funding available was a significant sum, of which a large portion was intended for the delivery of affordable homes. It was noted that part of the delay in delivering the software had been the requirement to put in place new Planning software, which the S106 software would then draw information from.


      v.          The Chairman asked whether it was possible to receive a link to access the S106 monitoring software, which the ADP confirmed he would share after the meeting.


    vi.          Cllr A Brown asked whether any public communications or announcements had been made on the availability of the software, as he was aware that there were several Parishes and members of the public seeking to access this information. The ADP replied that whilst an S106 Monitoring Officer was not in post, the decision had been made to delay an announcement, given that a significant number of enquiries could be expected once an announcement was made, and there was not adequate resource to respond at the current time. He added that an announcement would be made as soon as possible once the post was filled.


   vii.          The HIA stated that the Internal Audit service had undergone an external quality assessment undertaken by the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors, and was pleased to report that the assessment had gone well with only a small amount of work required on assurance mapping. She added that full details would be provided as part of the annual opinion report presented to the Committee in June.


  viii.          Cllr C Cushing referred to the exempt agenda and noted a limited assurance grading with a number of actions that was cause for concern, and asked what plans were in place to address these actions. The HIA replied that ordinarily there was a one month window to complete actions, and whilst the actions may take longer to complete, they were being treated as a priority. She added that responsible officers had been assigned to actions, and the Committee would be informed of any actions that remained outstanding at the next meeting.


    ix.          Cllr S Penfold asked whether there was any means by which progress could be tracked across the implementation of all audit recommendations. The HIA replied that the table on p110 provided an overview of progress, but suggested that if Members had any particular concerns that could request a further update from officers.




To receive and note the internal audit progress and progress against internal audit recommendations within the period covered by the report. 


Supporting documents: