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Agenda item

Internal Audit Update Report

Purpose: to update the Committee on the status of Internal Audit work as at the end of quarter two of 2022/23.



Julie Gillhespey presented the Internal Audit Update Report (Agenda Item 5), which updated the Committee on the outcome of Internal Audit work completed during Quarter Two of 2022/23, and highlighted in particular section 5.2, which noted no areas of concern.

Julie Gillhespey noted that from a full team of five staff, the Audit department had been working with a staff vacancy since June 2022, and had made two unsuccessful attempts at hiring. Despite the vacancy the team were estimated to reach 73% of their 80% key performance target by the end of the year.

In response to a query from Councillor Tony Linden, it was explained that it would take between eighteen months and two years to train someone.

Simon Carey noted that the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) target was to achieve 80% of the Audit Plan, and queried why it was not 100%. Julie Gillhespey responded that 100% would not be achievable, as each audit had planned estimated time allocated which was subject to change. It was suggested that 80% was realistic and comparable with the targets set by other authorities that worked according to a percentage benchmark.

Councillor David Marsh noted that a draft report had been issued for an audit of Electoral Services, and queried whether it would need to be revisited considering the additional expenses required to implement Voter ID legislation. Julie Gillhespey responded that the scope of the audit had been day-to-day financial expenses rather than the full election process within Electoral Services.

Councillor Marsh queried whether the new voting requirements could be the subject of a future audit. Julie Gillhespey responded that it could if the Committee requested and proved a sufficient risk factor.

Councillor Biyi Oloko queried how the scope of the Audit Plan was defined. Julie Gillhespey responded that the Audit Plan was drafted over a three year period, with any area of the Council that presented a financial or reputational risk included, and assessed to determine the frequency that audits would take place, and key risks that would be highlighted.

David Southgate queried the target time and whether there were internal benchmarks from the end of an audit to issuing a report, noting that a number of items had been left over from the previous Audit Plan year without a report issued. Julie Gillhespey responded that the terms of reference allowed for a quarter year to allow a draft report to be issued, with issues such as a lack of information from the auditee causing unavoidable delays, but added that the issue had been highlighted for improvement.

David Southgate queried whether it could be added to future reports as a performance metric. Julie Gillhespey responded that it could, but that it would involve the reporting of a lot of information to explain delays that had occurred, and as a solitary percentage may not provide the necessary context for improvement.


·         Governance and Ethics Committee note the report.

·         An additional metric be added to future reports detailing a rolling metric of completed and issued reports for the past twelve months.


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