Agenda item

Internal Audit Strategy 2020/21 to 2022/23 and Annual Internal Audit Plan 2022/23


Gary Clifford presented the report and stated that between December 2019 and March 2020, a comprehensive Audit Needs Assessment process had been undertaken which involved attending meetings with each of the Directorate Management Teams to discuss risks and priorities with Directors, Assistant Directors, and other senior management. As a result, a three-year Strategy for Internal Audit 2020/21 to 2022/23 had been developed. During the latter part of this process, the implications from Covid had started to emerge with changes to working practices, and in some cases, changes to job roles. Due to the continually emerging issues, this was not reflected in the plan but as a result, the scope of some reviews changed during the year to ensure the Internal Audit Service was utilising its resources to best meet the needs of the Council. It had been agreed with the Corporate Director of Resources and Place Delivery that as the pandemic had a continuing impact on how services operate, during 2022/23 it would benefit the Council if we continued to have a six-month rolling plan to allow the service to react pro-actively to changing risks and priorities. Gary Clifford stated the report heading should have read six-monthly instead of Annual.


Councillor Collins referred to Appendix A, External Factors onto Council, taking into the account the current situation with Russia and Ukraine, the impact of taking in refugees into the borough would also need to be added.


Councillor Collins referred to page 97 of the report, Belmont Road, contract review, and asked for further clarification to which Sean Clark stated this was in regard to the relationship between the council and Thurrock Regeneration Limited (TRL). TRL’s main operation was house building in terms of providing social housing and were used for more difficult sites. The Belmont Road site had ran into a number of problems after a contract had been let which therefore made it difficult to continue with. At this stage the contract was still with the council so when the compensation claim came in when the contract had not gone ahead this had rested with the council and not TRL.


Councillor Snell referred to page 97 of the report, Arboriculture Services, questioned whether this was a risk and not that the software would have been tested before it was purchased. Gary Clifford stated this was just for assurance that the software and council were doing what they should do.


Councillor Ononaji referred to page 87 of the report that Covid had had a significant impact on how the council and its staff operated and questioned how prepared the council were should they need to tackle another pandemic. Gary Clifford stated that in terms of IT this had been put in place very quickly and successful to enable staff to work remotely and felt the team would be in a good place if another pandemic were to happen.


Councillor Collins referred to page 105 of the report, ISO 9001 - Environmental Services – and questioned whether auditors were now checking their own work to which Gary Clifford stated this was the last ISO 9001 report that had been brought to the last committee which covered waste, highways and a lot of environment services. The audit had previously been provided by an external consultant who charged the council for this service but the internal audit team were now undertaking this work and going down to the depot to go through the paperwork with staff.




That the Standards and Audit Committee: Receive and agree the six-month Internal Audit Plan 2022/23.

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