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Agenda Item No 6

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Audit Committee: 20th February 2017

 

Report from the Head of Finance / Section 151 Officer

 

Update on Staff Vacancies Within the Internal Audit Shared Service

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To provide Members with a position statement on the current staff vacancies within the Internal Audit Shared Service.

Recommendation

  1. THAT Members note the content of the report and awaits a further report following the review of the current structure.

Reason for the Recommendation

  1. To keep the Audit Committee informed.

Background

  1. During the presentation of the contents of the Internal Audit Shared Service outturn reports, Members have always been informed of the number of vacant posts the service is carrying. Members have previously raised their concerns as to the level of vacancies being carried by the service and as a consequence of these concerns, an update on the current staffing vacancies is provided for Members' information.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. As stated in paragraph 1 above, regular updates on the performance of the Internal Audit Shared Service are provided to the Audit Committee. These updates always provide the current status in relation to the structure and the number of vacant posts.
  2. At the Audit Committee's meeting held on the 21st November 2016, Members were informed that the Section was carrying 4 FTE vacant posts at the commencement of the Financial Year 2016/17, which had increased to 6 FTE vacancies as at the end of October 2016. This has subsequently increased to 6.5 and will increase to 7.5 before the end of the financial year. The Committee was further informed that one of the vacant posts had recently been advertised but unfortunately the service was not able to recruit, due primarily to the inexperience of the applicants and the significant amount of mentoring required had the candidate been appointed. Members were advised that contact had been made with the Wales Audit Office to ascertain whether they had a resource the Internal Audit Service could utilise but this was without success.
  3. As stated above, the Service currently has 6.5 FTEs vacant posts and these are as follows:

Post Designation

Number

Grade

Salary Range

Auditor

4.5

G

£23,166 to £27,394

Trainee Auditor

1

E

£17,547 to £19,939

Trainee Computer Auditor

1

E

£17,547 to £19,939

       

               

  1. As a consequence of the recent recruitment campaign being unsuccessful, a review of the current structure of the section will be considered to determine its suitability in an ever changing dynamic audit environment. It is important to note that the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards place a requirement on the Head of Audit to ensure that "internal audit resources are appropriate, sufficient and effectively deployed to achieve the approved plan". Furthermore, the Head of Audit must ensure that all its internal auditors possess the knowledge, skills and other competencies needed to perform their individual responsibilities.
  2. The current structure of the Audit Service has been in place since the Joint Shared Service Agreement was established on 1st February 2013. Local Government, and therefore the role of audit, has changed considerably in that time. In addition, with the continuing requirement to work in collaboration with other Local Authorities, or indeed to provide services in a different way, the way in which audit is functioning now, and will have to, function in the future is changing rapidly. This means that staff within the service will require broader skills and a more commercial outlook with regard to the services that they will audit. These factors will all be taken into account as part of this review to future proof this service.
  3. In addition, with the over-riding success of the pilot in which the specialist ICT skills of the Internal Audit Shared Service Section have been utilised to undertake an audit for Newport City Council, opportunities for extending this service to other Welsh Authorities will be further explored and this will be placed on a more formal footing.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. None directly from this report.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. None directly from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. None directly from this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. 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)

  1. None directly from this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

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

Policy Framework and Budget

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

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. No further consultation is proposed

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

  1. Corporate Performance and Resources

Background Papers

None

Contact Officer

Helen Smith - Operational Manager - Audit

Officers Consulted

None

Responsible Officer:

Carys Lord - Head of Finance / Section 151 Officer

1

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