Report of the Director of Finance & Transformation / Section 151 Officer
The Committee received the report as set out on pages 11-20 of the agenda, which asked it to note the progress made in delivering the 2018/19 Audit Plan and the implementation of the associated recommendations.
Mr Anand Persaud, Audit Manager at CW Audit Services, provided the Committee with a summary of the report. Mr Persaud confirmed that the Internal Auditors were satisfied with the rate of progress achieved to date in delivering the 2018/19 Audit Plan, with five reviews having been completed. For the GDPR follow-up review it was confirmed that seven of the ten recommendations made in the original review had been implemented, whilst the remainder continue to be progressed.
With regard to the five completed reviews, it was confirmed that an opinion of Limited Assurance had been provided in respect of the Council’s Capital Programme and Taxi/Hackney Carriage Licensing service areas. Whilst the Internal Auditor confirmed that a number of improvements had already been made in these areas, the Chair of the Committee expressed particular concern in relation to the Limited Assurance opinion concerning the Capital Programme, and requested a report to the next Committee outlining in greater detail the reasons behind this rating and the measures recommended/taken to ensure improvements. Similarly, the Chair of the Licensing & Regulatory Committee expressed concern regarding the findings of the Taxi/Hackney Carriage Audit, as well as a concern that the results had not been brought to the Chair’s attention prior to receiving the Internal Auditor’s report. It was therefore requested that a report be provided to a future meeting of the Licensing & Regulatory Committee to provide an understanding of the issues identified and the steps taken to address them.
In relation to the Council’s cleaning contract, a number of Members of the Committee expressed concern about the current standard of service being delivered, which was falling significantly below expectation levels. The Internal Auditor confirmed that generally satisfactory measures were in place to ensure adequate monitoring of the contract, resulting in an opinion of Moderate assurance being provided. The Auditor stated that the importance of keeping detailed records of issues regarding the contract had been emphasised to the Council’s management. It was requested by the Chair of Service Delivery Committee that an Action Plan be brought to the next meeting of that Committee, outlining the Council’s strategy for driving up the current level of service.
A Member of the Committee raised a further concern in respect of the ‘High Risk’ outstanding issues contained within the Recommendation Tracking section of the report. It was noted that a recommendation had been in place for some considerable time to introduce a formal programme of post inspections in the Housing Repairs & Maintenance service area, however due to no Responsive Repairs Officer being in position, insufficient resource existed to implement/test the programme. It was also noted that the rescheduled target date for introduction of the programme by 31/08/18 had been missed. A request was made that the Chief Executive look into this as a matter of urgency and provide a written update to Members.
In spite of there being some areas of significant concern identified within the report, it was noted by the Chair that when viewed as a whole, a lot of good results had been achieved and very pleasing progress continued to be made in delivering the 2018/19 plan.
It was moved by Mrs L M Broadley, seconded by R E R Morris and
UNANIMOUSLY RESOLVED THAT:
The contents of the report and Appendix be noted by Members.