Agenda item

Internal Audit’s Charter, Code of Ethics, Audit Strategy, Strategic and Annual Audit Plans, Summary of Internal Audit Coverage and Performance Indicators for 2014/15 (Agenda item 9)

Report by the Internal Audit Consortium Manager.


The report provided an overview of the key stages followed prior to the formulation of the Strategic Audit Plan for 2014/15 to 2016/17 and the Annual Audit Plan for 2014/15.


Members’ attention was drawn to the fact that this was the first time that an Audit Charter had been presented.  Previously, Terms of Reference had been submitted annually, but now, in accordance with Public Sector Internal Audit Standards, which came into effect on 1 April 2013, it had been necessary to develop an Audit Charter to reflect how the Internal Audit Service would operate in accordance with updated mandatory standards.  The Internal Audit Consortium Manager had compiled a Charter which covered the necessary requirements whilst acknowledging that some additional appendices had been needed to provide further clarity on important issues such as the Code of Ethics and the Performance Indicators adopted by the Internal Audit function.  Details of the Internal Audit Charter for 2014/15 could be found at Appendix 1 of the report on page 82 of the agenda.  It was noted that this would have to be revisited annually to confirm its ongoing validity and completeness, and be circulated in accordance with the specified requirements. 


The Performance Indicators for the Internal Audit Service could be found at Appendix 8 of the report; these had not changed from previous years.


The basis of standards of conduct for 2014/15 in relation to the Code of Ethics remained unchanged; however, it had been necessary to make one small amendment to Section 6 of the Code of Ethics to mark the changeover from the Deloitte auditors to Mazars auditors, the latter now being engaged to deliver the Annual Audit Plan. 


A rigorous, three tier consultation process had been carried out in relation to the Internal Audit Strategy.  Management had significantly contributed to shaping future audit coverage and had provided assistance with developing the timetable for the delivery of audit projects.  In the course of liaison with management, it had been confirmed that in order to deliver requirements within the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards, it was no longer viable to support a previously agreed move from annual to two yearly audit examination of the system of risk management and corporate governance arrangements, and instead, annual reviews would be reinstated.


The Annual Audit Plan for 2014/15 encompassed 225 days allocated across 20 individual assignments.  Of these 20 assignments , it was noted that three reviews relating to Revenues and Benefits services were being delivered by another Internal Audit provider – the West Suffolk Internal Audit Partnership.


Members were asked to approve the document.


Referring to page 79 of the agenda in relation to West Suffolk Internal Audit Partnership, Mr Ludlow asked if there had been any issues with audit coverage undertaken by this provider this year.  The Internal Audit Consortium Manager advised that she had not had to commission any additional audit testing in year, as the scope of the Partnership’s work in relation to Revenues and benefits audits had been comprehensive.


The Assistant Director of Finance explained that the current contract with Deloittes ended in September 2013.  Internal Audit Management and Section 151 Officers were working together to retender the contract.  Responses had been received to the Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) stage; this would then be followed by a Competitive Dialogue process.  Consideration was being given to extend the current contract to cover the remaining work programme.  An update would be provided at the next meeting.  The Internal Audit Consortium Manager pointed out that the scheduling of assignments within the 2015/15 Audit Plan was based on a new Internal Audit Services contract going live from October 2014.


Referring to section 3.7 of the report, Mr Ludlow asked why the audits of the Annual Computer Audit Plans had been scored differently to other audits.  Members were informed that a specialist Computer Audit Manager had to be brought in to determine requirements for future computer audit input and applied a different methodology to that used by the Internal Audit Consortium Manager.  In response to a question, the Internal Audit Consortium Manager said that she was content with high risk ICT areas being audited on a two yearly basis. 


The Audit Committee was asked to approve the range of supporting documents.


RESOLVED that approval be given to:


1)      the Internal Audit’s Charter for 2014/15;


2)      the Internal Audit’s Code of Ethics for 2014/15;


3)      the Internal Audit’s Strategy for 2014/15;


4)      the Strategic Audit Plan for 2014/15 to 2016/17;


5)      the Annual Audit Plan for 2014/15;


6)      the Summary of Internal Audit Coverage for 2014/15; and,


7)   the Performance Indicators for 2014/15.


Supporting documents: