Agenda item

Internal Audit Recommendation Tracking Report

Report of the Chief Operating Officer (Section 151 Officer)


The Audit and Procurement Committee considered a report of the Chief Operating Officer (Section 151 Officer), which provided an update on the progress made in implementing internal audit recommendations since October 2021.


The Public Sector Internal Audit Standards requires that “the Chief Audit Executive (i.e. Chief Internal Auditor) must establish a follow up process to monitor and ensure that management actions have been effectively implemented or that senior management have accepted the risk of not taking action”.


As reflected within its terms of reference, the Audit and Procurement Committee is required to receive reports on Internal Audit’s follow up process.  The report submitted provided an update as to progress in respect of the agreed management actions which had been followed up during the period October 2021 to November 2022.


The Committee noted that, due to the impact of Covid-19, a decision was taken to suspend self-assessment follow ups from March 2020.  These arrangements had been re-set for follow ups due from October 2021 onwards.  It was therefore recognised that for those audits which were due to be followed up by the self-assessment method during the period March 2020 to October 2021, no follow up had been undertaken.  This did not mean that the recommendations were not implemented, but rather that assurance had not been obtained.  Any future audits of these areas would encompass a follow up of previous recommendations.


Given the number of audits that the Internal Audit Service completes every year, it was critical that it had a robust procedure in place for ensuring that it obtained appropriate assurance that audit recommendations had been implemented but did so in an efficient and proportionate way.  Where appropriate, Internal Audit defined within its audit reports the follow up process to those responsible for the system / area under review and a date was agreed of when this would take place.


Currently, there were three key considerations that would determine the follow up procedure adopted, namely:


1)  Whether the area audited is of such significance that it is subject to an annual review.


2)  The level of assurance provided in the audit report.


3)  A self-assessment process for those reviews where neither of the points above apply, but a follow up review is necessary.


Overall, it was believed that the procedure achieved the right balance between ensuring action was taken in response to risks identified by Internal Audit and allowing the Service to focus on identification of new risks. 


The results of the latest follow up exercise were appended to the report.  In summary, of the 104 actions followed up, 53% had been implemented based on both the formal and self-assessment follow up method.  After the follow up had been completed, the results were collated within Internal Audit.  If progress was not consistent with expectations, audit management would determine the next course of action.  The proposed actions for the audits where recommendations were outstanding were highlighted within the appendices.


RESOLVED that the Audit and Procurement Committee note the progress made in implementing audit recommendations and confirm its satisfaction with this and the proposed action by the Chief Internal Auditor for audits where actions remain outstanding.

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