Issue - meetings

Internal Audit Strategy and Plan 2023/24

Meeting: 23/03/2023 - Audit and Standards Committee (Item 4)

4 Internal Audit Plan 2023/24 pdf icon PDF 961 KB

To consider endorsing the proposed Internal Audit Strategy and Plan for 2023-24.

Additional documents:


The Committee received a report which outlined the proposed Internal Audit Strategy and Plan for 2023-24, attached at Appendix A to the report.


Following discussions with Legal, the Chair advised that the recommendation would be amended to reflect the Committee’s responsibility to approve the plan, not endorse it.


Paul Clarke, Internal Audit Manager, introduced the internal strategy and plan for the next year, which provided assurance that the Council was maintaining an effective control environment that enabled it to manage its significant business risks.  He provided an overview of the different appendices attached to the report and highlighted key information within them.  Paul Clarke also referred to the Audit Charter which had been reviewed but no changes made.  It had therefore been included for completeness.


It was noted that the Audit team were carrying staff vacancies but Paul Clarke felt that resources were stable and sufficient at the present time.


Robert Zara asked for reassurance relating to Strategic Risk number 16, which dealt with a potential loss to the Council from investments.  Paul Clarke explained that this risk related mainly to a potential risk of detriment to the Council’s reputation and went on to assure that the audit plan would be looking at WRIF and WPDG in due course as part of the portfolio of planned work.


Councillor Kettle raised a query relating to third party suppliers and the assurance that the Council was achieving value for money.  Officers advised that Value for Money was considered within the audit of procurement services and stand-alone studies were not carried out.


Councillor Gifford felt that this was an issue that should be dealt with at the procurement stage and should be part of the planning for individual departments.  He did not feel that Councillors could investigate every item that was procured and Internal Audit were limited as to how deeply each item could be looked into.  In response, Councillor Kettle explained that he thought the relationship between procurement and the contractor should be looked at because it could lead to a lack of control in the cost of work.


The Chair supported the point and noted that processes could be looked at to ensure the right value for money decisions were being taken.


Rob Powell reminded the meeting that the Medium-Term Financial Strategy focused heavily on savings and efficiencies whilst the service areas were concerned with contract management.  He gave assurance that CIPFA benchmarking and national satisfaction surveys placed the authority as very cost effective and high performing in terms of highways maintenance and that officers were always looking for better value for money through third party spend.


The Chair concluded the discussion by summarising that the internal audit general programme of work looked sensible and the risk assessment looked good.  Councillor Gifford was pleased that SEND was on the work programme.


Resolved that the Internal Audit Strategy and Plan for 2023/24, attached at Appendix A, is approved.