Agenda Item No 9

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Audit Committee - 31st January 2018

 

Operational Manager - Audit (as the Head of Audit)

 

Audit Report - Ethics 2017/18

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To present to Members the audit report in respect of Ethics which was undertaken by the South West Audit Partnership (SWAP) on behalf of the Council's Internal Audit Shared Service (IASS) and which formed part of the Council's 2017/18 audit plan.

Recommendation

  1. THAT the Committee considers the content of the report attached and notes the positive outcome.

Reason for the Recommendation              

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

Background

  1. As a consequence of resourcing issues within the IASS during 2017/18, it has been necessary to commission a number of reviews to be undertaken by an external provider.  The SWAP was therefore contracted to undertake a review to assess the adequacy of the controls and procedures in place for Ethics across the Council.
  2. The review was part of the 2017/18 Internal Audit Risk Based Plan and was undertaken on behalf of the IASS.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. The purpose of the ethics review has been to provide assurance that the Council are operating under high standards of ethical behaviour, whilst also assessing the cultural climate in place at the Council. 
  2. Attached at Appendix A is a copy of the report with the overall conclusion being that the Council have performed extensive work to redefine its ethical climate and culture with the input and assistance of staff, and as a consequence the Council should be commended for its forward thinking approach to ethics and culture.  The creation of the Council's Staff Charter has been the starting point for this, which has been used as a vehicle for further processes to be created and introduced to the Council's environment.
  3. The Auditor has concluded that the areas reviewed were found to be adequately controlled.  Internal controls are in place and operating effectively and risks against the achievement of objectives are well managed.  Therefore an overall substantial assurance opinion has been provided.
  4. In addition, no formal recommendations have been made within the report and it is extremely pleasing to report that following a benchmarking exercise with SWAP's Partners, the Council has a greater level of maturity with regards to its ethics and culture than each of the SWAP Partners involved in the benchmarking.  The Auditor concludes that the Council has shown that it has successfully engrained its vision and values into the work environment, therefore the Council's approach to ethics and culture and the benefits it can have towards empowering staff during times of organisational change should be praised.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. There are no resource implications as a direct result of this report.  The external cost of the review will be met out of the IASS's existing budget. 

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 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