Members considered a progress report by Assurance Lincolnshire against the 2020/2021 annual programmes agreed by the Governance and Audit Committee in March 2020.
By way of introduction, some updates since the publication of the report were provided to committee members:
· The Homelessness audit report had been finalised and given ‘substantial’ assurance;
· The Strategic Risk audit on the inability to raise local educational attainment and skills was progressing;
· Audits on both the Crematorium and the Waste Depot were at draft stage;
· The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and IT Helpdesk audits were still at fieldwork stage;
· Some additional work, on the subject of ‘subsidy testing’ had been undertaken by Assurance Lincolnshire, funded from the contingency allowance.
Following questions from committee Members, further information was provided:
· No staff at Assurance Lincolnshire had been furloughed; however the wellbeing of staff would remain a concern whilst government restrictions were in place;
· There were concerns in different parts of the country around auditors being able to provide an audit opinion on work of Councils; this was not a current concern for Assurance Lincolnshire;
· It had been a challenging year in terms of delivering on the Internal Audit Plan. Plans were constantly being reset and reviewed, which could lead to changes in scheduling. However, in terms of having enough staff to provide an opinion, there were no current concerns for Assurance Lincolnshire;
· Disasters and Crisis response had been raised as a new risk for 2021;
· The ‘Wellbeing Lincolnshire’ audit was due to be a broad brush review as East Lindsey and North Kesteven District Councils were also involved. This had not been scoped as yet, but the concerns on local vulnerable residents raised by a Member would be taken into account.
The report was then moved and seconded, and following a vote it was unanimously RESOLVED to agree that the content of the report had been considered and any actions required had been raised.