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Agenda Item No 6

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Audit Committee: 24th April, 2017

 

Report of the Operational Manager - Audit (as the Head of Audit).

 

External Assessment Final Report

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To present to Members the final report for the external assessment of the Internal Audit Shared Service.

Recommendation

THAT the Committee consider the report of the External Assessor and approve the actions for improvement as outlined in Appendix 1 attached to the report.

Reason for the Recommendation               

To facilitate the monitoring of the Council's Internal Audit Shared Service and to ensure it remains compliant with the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards.

Background

  1. External Assessments are required to be undertaken to appraise and express an opinion about the internal audit's conformance with the PSIAS' Definition of Internal Auditing and Code of Ethics and to include recommendations for improvement, as appropriate. An external assessment must be conducted at least once every five years, in accordance with the PSIAS.
  2. At the Committee meeting held on 16th November 2015, Members expressed their preference for the External Assessment against the PSIAS to be carried out by an independent organisation rather than by peer review.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. In accordance with the requirements of both Councils' Audit Committees a procurement exercise was undertaken to procure the most economically advantageous organisation to undertake an external assessment of the Bridgend and Vale Internal Audit Shared Service ensuring compliance with the Vale of Glamorgan Council's Contract and Financial Procedure Rules. As a consequence, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) were commissioned to undertake the assessment.
  2. The review commenced on the 30th January 2017 and the on site assessment concluded on 3rd February 2017. The report is attached at Appendix A.
  3. The Assessor met with Statutory Officers, Chief Officers, Auditees, and Auditors from both Councils, in addition to the Chairs of Audit Committees.
  4. The Assessor has made 18 recommendations and a further 10 suggestions for improvement. The Action Plan (including responses and action dates) is attached at Appendix 1 of the report.
  5. Whilst it is clear that the assessment has identified some recommendations and suggestions for improvement; overall the assessment identified no areas of non-compliance with the standards that would affect the overall scope or operation of the internal audit activity. Indeed, the Assessor has further stated that all auditees and statutory officers were positive in their responses and understanding of the audit process and the value it added.
  6. Regular progress reports against the implementation of the recommendations and suggestions for improvement will be presented to the Audit Committee during the year.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. The total cost of the External Assessment excluding VAT is £6,738.04, and this will be met from within the budget for the shared service.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. None directly from this report.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. The External Assessment of the Internal Audit function is a requirement of the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards.

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 as a direct consequence of 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

Public Sector Internal Audit Standards

Contact Officer

Helen Smith - Operational Manager - Audit

Officers Consulted

None

Responsible Officer:

Carys Lord - Head of Finance / Section 151 Officer

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