Agenda item

Status of Audit Recommendations due for Implementation between 1 October and 31 December 2013 (Agenda item 8)

Report by the Internal Audit Consortium Manager.

Minutes:

The Internal Audit Consortium Manager presented an updated report following the concerns raised in relation to incomplete audit recommendations earlier in the year.

 

The Committee had been concerned at the growing percentage of outstanding recommendations and it had been suggested and agreed that a further update be provided after Quarter 3 audit verification work had been performed; otherwise, the next opportunity to review any progress would not have been until June 2014.

 

The number of outstanding recommendations, listed per audit, had been attached at Appendix 1 of the report.  At the end of 2012/13 Internal Audit had reported a figure of 49.3% (36 from a total of 73) of recommendations being implemented in accordance with target deadline dates previously set.  This figure fell to 42.7% (38 from a total of 89) at the mid-year point and then dropped again to 27.4% (20 from a total of 73) by the end of the third quarter of 2013/14.  Thus, the position had deteriorated over the current financial year.  However, in relation to high priority recommendations reported as outstanding, these had decreased from 11 at the close of Quarter 2 of 2013/14 to 7 at the end of Quarter 3.  The five high priority recommendations that had been completed by the close of Quarter 3 related to one recommendation applicable to Procurement (BRK/13/02), one recommendation relating to Environmental Health (BRK/13/05) and three recommendations attributable to the Network Infrastructure and Security Audit (BRK/13/11).

 

Councillor Kiddle-Morris referred to one of the outstanding high recommendations associated with his Portfolio, Asset Management (BRK/11/06) in relation to Street Lighting.  He explained that Breckland Council did not want to become a street lighting authority as the cost to the authority would be extortionate.  Negotiations were being had with the Town Councils to take over the responsibility for street lighting. The Town Councils had been provided with a list of where these street lights were situated, what they were made of and when they needed to be replaced and were being asked how much money they required to take them over.  The Chairman was content with the response as to why this particular recommendation was still outstanding.  Mr Ludlow asked if any would remain in the Council’s ownership.  The Chairman said that this was not the Audit Committee’s concern.  The Internal Audit Consortium Manager advised that given the situation, the wording for this outstanding recommendation needed to be revised to reflect the current situation.  Councillor Kiddle-Morris stated that he did not expect a resolution on this matter for some months.  It was agreed that the wording and the dates would be revised to enable proper monitoring.

 

It was noted that since the last Status Report had been prepared on audit recommendations, a new Performance Management system had been developed in-house and had become operational.  Hence all information obtained in relation to Quarter 3 position with regard to audit recommendations that required action and/or comment from management had been obtained using the new system.  The Chief Executive suggested that the high and medium outstanding recommendations needed to go through the annual appraisal process so that new targets could be set.

 

The report was otherwise noted.

 

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