The Internal Auditor presented a report to seek the comments of the Corporate Affairs and Audit Committee on the draft Internal Audit Plan 2015/2016.
The Plan was presented in draft format to allow Members to contribute to the consultation process by commenting on the areas selected for review and the overall scope of the Plan. Consultation had commenced and was ongoing with the Chief Executive, Directors, the Chief Financial Officer and the External Auditor. Once consultations were completed, a final version of the Plan incorporating any revisions, would be presented to the Corporate Affairs and Audit Committee for approval. Progress against the Plan would be reported to the Committee throughout the financial year.
The proposed Internal Audit Plan 2015/2016 was attached at Appendix 1 to the submitted report and set out how internal audit resources would be deployed between a number of assurance categories including corporate assurance, internal control compliance reviews, counter fraud and financial systems. The number of audit days was currently set at 1065, which was a slight increase on 2014/2015 from 994. However, this might change depending on any revisions to the current draft Plan. Although there would be a further reduction on the overall internal audit budget for next year, the Internal Auditor was confident that the current proposed number of days could be delivered within budget by allocating resources appropriately.
Audits would focus on the key risks to the Council and the key issues and there would be a mixture of audits that were cross-cutting across the Council for example risk management and performance management. There was a range of individual assignments specific to Directorates, such as Childrens Safeguarding and Childrens Disability Services. Some areas where there was less risk or less impact were only audited every few years. It was suggested that the routine and specific audits could be highlighted in the Plan to indicate which was in which category.
The Internal Auditor confirmed that although the TVAAS had been publicised, none of the Middlesbrough Academies currently bought their services. The Service would make renewed efforts to advertise itself.
It was noted that an audit of Safeguarding Children would be undertaken after the OFSTED inspection. However, Members indicated that they were keen to ensure that a full audit of this area was carried out by TVAAS.
The Internal Auditor clarified that the audit in relation to Housing Regeneration (Gresham) was likely to relate to how the scheme had been delivered and how the funding had been spent. The exact scope would be defined at the time of the audit. The Internal Auditor also confirmed that audits could be added to the Plan throughout the year in any areas where concerns were raised.
AGREED that the draft Internal Audit Plan 2015/2016 was received and noted.