The Chief Internal Auditor confirmed that the Internal Auditor Charter would normally be brought before the Committee every 2 years however, due to a change in directorate it has been brought to the Committee. The Internal Audit Charter is a formal document that defines the Internal Audit Services’ purpose, authority and responsibility. The Internal Audit Charter establishes the internal audit's position within the Council, including the nature of the Head of Internal Audit's functional reporting relationship with the Standards & AuditCommittee; authorises access to records, personnel and physical properties relevant to the performance of engagements; and defines the scope of internal audit activities. Final approval of the Internal Audit Charter lays with the Standards & Audit
Councillor Carter queried what has changed in the Charter.
The Chief Internal Auditor confirmed it is purely job titles other than that it is the same as it was when it was presented to the committee last year.
Councillor Collins stated that in light of recent developments he would like to see it evidenced in bank statements details of income and outgoings and items relating to investments. He commented that if we are going to learn from our mistakes this is the best way to go. He queried if the Chief Internal Auditor could think of any other ways to protect the Council’s finances going forward.
The Chief Internal Auditor responded that this would be the function of the S151 Finance officer. At the moment they are holding fire and waiting to see what the outcome of the Best Value Inspection and intervention as it is likely to impact the audit planning for next year.
Councillor Collins queried if the report only dealt with the audit of systems. The Chief Internal Auditor agreed.
Councillor Raper queried if the Chief Internal Auditor had any concerns relating to risk management.
The Chief Internal Auditor responded that they completed an audit 3 years ago and in line with what was reported to the Standards and Audit Committee, risk management was considered robust at a corporate level but at an operational level more needed to be done.
Councillor Collins queried whose responsibility it is to check an organisations investments are there and solid,
The Chief Internal Auditor stated that he imagined it was part of the work done initially when investments were set up as part of the diligence. His team would only audit the process – that the council did do the due diligence checks and rely on the information they are told in response.
Councillor Raper queried if the delays faced with the audit has hampered the team’s effectiveness. The Chief Internal Auditor agreed it had.
Councillor Collins stated he was not happy to agree the recommendation.
The Director of Legal and Governance and Monitoring Officer queried if he wants to change the recommendation or add to the recommendation or does he want to move something else and if someone is happy to second that, it can be moved. If you think something wasn’t robust enough, you need to be able to say that and have it recorded. If members would like more detail in the audit report as to what has been audited, how the audit takes place and what would the audit take into account and how it would be approached then they can request that level of detail.
Councillor Liddiard queried if there could be recommendations from officers to improve the robustness of the audit charter given the investment problems.
The Director of Legal and Governance and Monitoring Officer confirmed the starting point is they need to have a fuller understanding of the process and this may then lead to members being able to raise that point.
Councillor Carter asked what the timeframe for signing off the audit charter is. The Chief Internal Auditor responded that there isn’t a timeframe and there is an audit protocol he could bring to the next committee which goes through how his team complete their work.
The Director of Legal and Governance and Monitoring Officer agreed that those two reports would sit nicely together.
Councillor Carter proposed that the report is deferred to the next meeting. Councillor Collins seconded it.