Members considered the Internal Audit Quarter 3 Report 21/22 by Assurance Lincolnshire against the 2021/22 annual programmes agreed by the Governance and Audit Committee in March 2021.
The Report was introduced by Amanda Hunt. In the presenting report, the Officer highlighted to the Committee that two assurance audits had been completed during the period.
• Local Land Charges, which was given a ‘High’ assurance.
• ICT Helpdesk, which was given a ‘Limited’ assurance.
Of the revised plan, 50% had been completed.
Whilst Committee were advised that the Audit Plan was slightly behind target assurance was offered that it was still anticipated all work would be completed by the conclusion of Quarter 4 as planned. Notice was given regarding seven audits currently in progress with two of these at draft report stage.
The seven which were currently in progress, included:
• A follow-up on Vulnerable Communities, which was at the draft report stage.
• A follow-up on Golden Thread, which was at the draft report stage.
• A report on Insurance, which was at the fieldwork stage.
• A report on the ICT Network infrastructure, which was at the fieldwork stage.
• A report on Strategic Risk, which includes an inability to maintain critical services and deal with emergency events, which was at the fieldwork stage.
• A report on Flooding, which was in the Terms of Reference process.
• A report on the Key Project Enterprise Resource Planning System, with the review underway.
There had been some changes to the plan as priorities had changed during the year. The Wellbeing Audit had been postponed, and was replaced by a report on the certification of the flood grants. The Plan also now included a planned follow-up audit of the ICT Helpdesk, due to the limited rating. The Value for Money audit previously placed on hold would now take place in quarter 4.
The combined assurance work had commenced in the period and the report was expected to be considered by the Committee at its next meeting.
Finally, the Officer advised Committee that there were no overdue actions to report.
Debate ensued on the contents of the report, with Members questioning multiple aspects, and giving statements on the report.
During this session, the ICT Manager was asked to address the Committee. There should have been Authority specific gradings in the report, specifically on page 14. The ICT Manager explained that this report only looked at specific parts of this process managed by the ICT service, not every aspect of work undertaken.
Members enquired as to whether the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in this audit were made with the collaboration of the Corporate Policy and Resources Committee prior to this decision to include the Helpdesk in this report. It was stated that the ongoing KPI dashboards were present to each Authority’s partnership meetings, since the meetings were Officer led. Members also learnt that the 70% reduction in the number of ICT Helpdesk tickets was based on the original 700 tickets figure.
In response to concerns raised about the lack of data in the report, it was stated to Members that there were only specific factors that were looked into, such as the set procedures for IT Helpdesk tickets. Regarding Members concerns over the ‘no performance indicators’ issue, it was explained by one of the audit officers that there were no indicators on that specific area.
The ICT Manager stated that the IT Service was happy with to work with Internal Audit to review their area to improve the service for both Authorities. He also highlighted the rise in service satisfaction year on year.
To facilitate the planning of the next round of internal and external audits, Members were reminded to make their representations to the Assistant Director People & Democratic Services. Similarly, in the actions of responding to the Climate Change work in Quarter 4, Members were also reminded to make their representations to the Assistant Director People & Democratic Services regarding the Authority’s response. Members were advised to do so as soon as possible, as this was currently in discussion, had scope for comments, and was scheduled to be in the next report.
Members learnt that the postponement of wellbeing in this year’s audit would mean it would be included in next year’s planned audits, as the rise of COVID-19 cases had affected the response to the audit.
Finally, during this item, Members conferred about the usage and training of microphones during meetings, with the Vice Chairman pointing out a technique to attain better understandability within the chamber. The Chairman noted this as a formal Matter Arising.
Following much discussion and having been moved and, seconded, on being put to the vote it was:
RESOLVED that having considered the content of the report, no further actions be identified.