Committee Round-up: Scrutiny and Audit Committee 19.5.16

The progress of internal audit recommendations, an annual update on the work of the internal audit team, and approval of the council’s Internal Audit Charter were among items discussed at the latest meeting of Aberdeenshire Council’s Scrutiny and Audit Committee on Thursday (Thu, May 18).

Internal audit reports discussed

The committee discussed progress being made by services to implement a variety of internal audit recommendations.

Updates included matters relating to housing rent arrears procedures, social work tendering, the system used for cash receipts, and support for small businesses.

Purchasing and creditors within protective services and waste management, and the maintenance of burial grounds were also highlighted in a report before councillors.

The committee had a detailed discussion about individual progress updates, with committee chair Cllr Gillian Owen voicing disappointment that 32 recommendations were marked as ‘overdue'.

Internal audit annual report and internal financial control statement

Aberdeenshire Council’s internal audit annual report and internal financial control statement for 2015/16 were considered by the committee.

The internal audit plan for 2015/16 was approved by the committee in April last year, allocating time to a series of planned audits and allowing for additional work requests and other activities as required.

A report before councillors stated that all work carried forward from 2014/15 has been completed, but that some audits in 2015/16 had taken longer than expected to complete.

The report added that a large number of recommendations were accepted which, if fully implemented, will lead to improvements and in some cases deliver financial savings for the council.

The committee noted the report but highlighted frustration at the challenges the internal audit team experienced in securing progress updates from services.

Internal audit charter for Aberdeenshire Council approved

Aberdeenshire Council’s Internal Audit Charter, the formal document that defines the purpose, authority and responsibility of the internal audit team, has been approved.

It was explained to councillors that in previous years the charter had covered both Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City Councils, but that a decision had been taken to have individual charters for both authorities.

Other matters

The committee agreed to change the date of its next meeting to Friday, July 1, 2016, to avoid a clash with the EU Referendum on Thursday, June 23.

The full public reports considered by the committee can be found via http://committees.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/