Agenda item

Internal Audit Update Report

Minutes:

Simba Muzarurwi introduced the report, which would be taken in two parts. The first is a general update on audit activities, the second is an update on the specific areas covered in appendices 2, 3 and 4. Relevant senior officers are available to field particular questions. 

·       There have been challenges in the audit process, which has resulted in audits taking longer to complete than originally planned. There are many planned activities that are work in progress, and work is on-going in ensuring that there are sufficient resources to deliver on time.

·       Overall, internal audit is satisfied on the progress being made in the implementation of agreed management actions. IA will provide a further update in September and it is anticipated that the lifting of Covid restrictions should lead to more improvements in the delivery of targets particularly in tenancy fraud.

 

Discussion Notes:

·       On the audit assurance plan, only one topic has been completed (housing rents), however Internal Audit are confident that this plan will be delivered on time given the resourcing arrangements being put in place.

·       Members asked what the triggers are for audit to intervene in a particular area. The audit plan is generally informed by discussions with management and in most cases, management identify areas of perceived high risk and request assurance support from Internal Audit. Largely, IA issues are usually known by management before Internal audit intervenes.

 

Appendix 2 – IT programme

·       The first transformation programme was accelerated, and a 5-year programme was done in 2. How and why was this done?

·       The FSA programme signed off by cabinet was designed and developed by a third party. When the current director joined BCC, this was amended to better fit BCC needs. The decision was made to accelerate the original programme to meet the BCC digital transformation ambition.

·       The acceleration increases the risk and not all financial benefits were realised. It is not clear whether the programme objectives are being delivered.

·       There was no financial benefit assigned to the FSA. The second phase is digital transformation, which is expected to deliver savings. There are some key aspects left to complete: laptop replacements for Windows 10 are taking longer than expected due to legacy applications. The relationship between Sharepoint and cloud storage is also taking longer to resolve. Windows 10 will take around 12 months to complete.

·       The Committee was concerned to understand how completion of the residual works from the ITTP are completed.  A follow up review by Internal Audit will be completed to provide assurance, or otherwise,  in this regard. The committee will receive updates as part of the Internal audit activity reports.

·       Continued implementation of key ITTP projects is also being monitored by the Digital Transformation Programme Board.  Internal Audit will sustain a presence on that board to assist monitoring delivery of the ITTP residual projects.

 

Appendix 3 - Capital Programme Governance

·       BCC brought in long-term partner Arcadis in February to assess the governance arrangements for the capital programme. You can find this in the summary report.

·       Arrangements show a reasonable level of assurance but need to be at a consistent level across the whole portfolio.

·       External Audit will build on the findings of Internal Audit in their own examination of the Capital Programme. The Internal Audit follow up will be by Quarter 4, so expect this in the February or March Audit Committee.

·       Finance Officers will bring more detail in September about the Council Improvement Board, which is a long-term programme of improvements rather than a one-off review.

 

Appendix 4 – Affordable Housing. 

·       There are some concerns from Registered Housing Providers about affordable housing delivery. BCC Scrutiny are seeking assurance on what can be delivered.

·       The Value of Grants is circa £28m. These are not forward grants; developers must be committed to the build before grants are awarded.

·       The housing team has an internal audit system that monitors delivery milestones to keep track of project delivery.

Supporting documents: