Agenda item

Internal Audit - Annual Report and Opinion 2018/19

To note the annual opinion of the Chief Internal Auditor on the overall adequacy and effectiveness of the Council’s internal control environment, governance and risk management systems.


The report before the Committee had been compiled by the Chief Internal Auditor which included an overall annual opinion on the adequacy of the Council’s governance arrangements, risk management systems and control environment.  It also provided an update on internal audit performance, and a summary of audit activity undertaken during Quarter four.  


He went on to highlight Appendix B of the report which summarised the key audit findings for Quarter four. There had been two partial assurances, one reasonable and three substantial.  A post implementation review had also been undertaken on the alternate weekly refuse collections.


He went on to highlight the audit that had been undertaken on Fire Safety.  There was a portfolio of 27 council occupied properties.  He had looked at the strategic aspect of these, but had also visited six properties.  Overall, the main finding was a weakness in the reporting framework.   Actions from some fire risk assessments had failed to be implemented, and issues arising were not being escalated to senior managers.  A framework was now in place to ensure that this information was channelled to the appropriate level of management.  In addition to this, at the time of the review, fire doors in Swan Walk Car Park were being locked after 6.30pm.  This has now been changed.   Fire drills were also a weak area, and there were agreed actions to deal with this.


The Chairman welcomed the opportunity to get consistency across the council.

The Chief Internal Auditor went on to say that the other partial assurance was the cultural compliance audit at the Capitol, which was a high level review.  The main issue was around the bar and catering facility.  A decision had been made to bring the operation of this back in house, but there had been no business case and the decision had not been published on the Forward Plan.  The Monitoring Officer had become involved to resolve the issue, and it had been decided to run the operation for a six month trial period to ensure the viability.  Fire drills were an issue, and mandatory training and authorisation of purchase orders at the correct level.


In reply to a question about whether volunteers received mandatory training at the Capitol, it was agreed that a reply would be provided to the committee.  It was further agreed that information regarding whether safety measures were provided to external contractors putting on performances with their own staff would be provided to the committee.


No assurance could be absolute; however, based on the internal audit work completed, the Chief Internal Auditor could provide reasonable assurance that Horsham District Council had in place an adequate and effective framework of governance, risk management and internal control for the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019. 




The Committee noted


i)          the annual opinion of the Chief Internal Auditor on the overall adequacy and effectiveness of the Council’s internal control environment, governance and risk management systems;

ii)         the summary of audit and project work undertaken during Quarter 4;


iii)      the performance of internal audit against performance targets.

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