Contact your Parish Council

Agenda item

Annual Internal Audit Report & Opinion 2020/21


The Audit Manager introduced the Annual Internal Audit Report and Opinion 2020/21.  In accordance with the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (the Standards), the report included:


·  The annual opinion of the Head of Audit Partnership on the overall adequacy and effectiveness of the Council’s internal controls, corporate governance framework and risk management arrangements;

·  A summary of the work completed by Mid-Kent Audit that supported the opinion; and

·  A statement on conformance with the Standards.


It was noted that:


·  The Head of Audit Partnership was satisfied from the audit work completed that the Council could place assurance on the system of control in operation during 2020/21; the corporate governance framework complied in all significant respects with the best practice guidance issued by CIPFA/SOLACE; and the Council’s risk management processes were effective. 


·  The Head of Audit Partnership had reached his conclusions independently and without any undue pressure from Officers or Members.


·  The report also included the results of individual audit engagements completed during the year; a summary of progress made on implementation of agreed actions; details of progress against the remaining actions arising from the External Quality Assessment and against the Quality Assurance Plan; an update on the progress being made towards a new collaboration agreement; and details of the achievements of the Internal Audit team in terms of their ongoing professional development.


In response to questions:


The Audit Manager explained that:


·  The Internal Audit team was not planning to undertake a review of Contract Management this year.  The most recent findings were implemented about 18 months ago.  However, risk priorities did change and were reviewed during the year.  If, when compiling the Audit Plan, it was considered that the level of risk associated with Contract Management had increased, it would be looked at.  Contract Management was now incorporated within the shared service Procurement function but arrangements with that shared service were still being agreed.  When the arrangements were in place the Internal Audit Team would consider its inclusion in the Audit Plan.


·  The findings of the Internal Audit reviews of S106 and Developer Contributions and Development Management (Officer Decisions) had been accepted and agreed actions had been put in place to address them.  Dates for implementation of the agreed actions were in place and would be followed up as they became due.


·  The Internal Audit review of Capital Project Management, which was going to have a very narrow scope and focus on the Innovation Centre, had been cancelled to make way for a MHCLG audit of the project.  There were several capital expenditure projects going on and Capital Project Management was forming part of the audit planning process but, given the resources available and the risk priorities, an assessment would be made of its inclusion in the Audit Plan based on the level of expenditure and the controls in place.


The Director of Finance and Business Improvement explained that:


·  The Council was part of the Kent Pension Fund.  The prime responsibility for auditing the Pension Scheme rested with Kent County Council and they had their own auditing arrangements.  In so far as the numbers in the Council’s accounts were concerned, these were audited by Grant Thornton and they relied on the work of the actuary and their own team members who were looking at the Pension Fund.  He did not consider a further review by the Council’s Internal Audit team could add a lot of value given the work already going on.


Members congratulated the Internal Audit team on its achievements in terms of professional development and its recent shortlisting for the Institute of Internal Audit Awards.




1.  That the annual opinion of the Head of Audit Partnership on the overall adequacy and effectiveness of the Council’s internal controls, corporate governance framework and risk management arrangements be noted.


2.  That the work underlying the opinion and the Head of Audit Partnership’s assurance of its completion with sufficient independence and in conformance with proper Standards be noted.


Supporting documents: