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Agenda Item No 9

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Audit Committee 24th February 2015

 

Report of the Head of Finance

 

Audit Committee - Annual Report on Schools 2013/14

 

Purpose of the Report

1.         To present to Members a copy of the report issued to the Director of Learning and Skills, summarising the findings made by Internal Audit in relation to the school based audits conducted in the 2013/14 audit year.

Recommendation

1.         THAT Members note the content of the report attached as Appendix A;

 

Reason for the Recommendation

1.         To keep the Audit Committee informed.

 

Background

2.         On an annual basis the Internal Audit Section visits a proportion of the Authority’s Primary, Secondary and Special Schools in order to carry out a pre-determined programme of work, with a view to giving the school, their Governing Body and the Authority assurance that controls are operating effectively.

3.         In 2013/14 over £85 million was delegated to the Authority’s Secondary, Primary and Special Schools.

4.         Internal Audit aims to audit every school at least once every three years, with increased visits if necessary, on the basis of a risk assessment.  The risk assessment will incorporate schools who were deemed to provide limited or no assurance in controlling risks in the past, schools where there have been changes in key personnel such as the Head Teacher or Administrative Officer, schools due to amalgamate or having just amalgamated and any other concerns brought to Internal Audit’s attention.

5.         In 2013/14 all schools subject to an audit visit were issued a pre audit questionnaire and required to submit selected documentation prior to the visit.  This information was then reviewed and the audit programme tailored to focus on the high risk areas identified.  Thus, not all areas of the schools programme were subject to review during the audit visit as assurance was gained from the pre audit questionnaire responses.

Relevant Issues and Options

6.         For 2013/14, a total of 21 audit visits were conducted, with an additional 2 primary schools and 1 comprehensive school receiving a special audit visit due to concerns raised in the year.  The visits included; 4 Comprehensive schools (including 2 payroll audits); 16 Primary schools and 1 special school; plus the three special/unplanned audits.  The report presented in Appendix A provides Members with details of the key findings made during these audits.

7.         Based on the Audit Opinions assigned to each of the schools visited, 71% achieved a rating of substantial assurance and 29% achieved reasonable assurance.  No schools were given Limited assurance rating which is an improvement on 2012/13 where there were 2, representing 9.5%.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

8.      None as a direct consequence of this report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

9.      None directly from this report

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

10.    Provision of an adequate and effective Internal Audit function is a legal requirement under the Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulations 2005 (as amended). The PSIAS replace the Code of Practice for Internal Audit in Local Government in the United Kingdom, last revised in 2006.  In local government in Wales, the PSIAS is mandatory for all principal local authorities and other relevant bodies subject to the Accounts and Audit (Wales) (Amended) Regulations 2010.

Crime and Disorder Implications

11.    Pursuing initiatives to prevent, detect and deter crime is encompassed within the terms of reference under which the audit function operates.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

12.    None as a direct consequence of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

13.    The work of audit is intended to assist in the achievement of all corporate and service objectives.

Policy Framework and Budget

14.    The proposals in this report are in accordance with the policy framework and budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

15.    No further consultation is proposed.

Background Papers

None

 

Contact Officer

Helen Smith - Operational Manager - Audit Tel: 01656 754901

 

Officers Consulted

External Audit Manager - Grant Thornton UK LLP

 

Responsible Officer:

Alan Jenkins - Head of Finance and Section 151 Officer

 

 

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