The Committee considered a report by Devon Audit Partnership regarding the Internal Audit progress report for 2021-22 (circulated previously).
The Internal Auditor (RH) advised of the following in relation to the Internal Audit Progress Report 2021-22:
· The Audit Opinion was that of ‘Reasonable Assurance’ on the adequacy and effectiveness of the Authority’s internal control framework.
· The following opinions had been provided:
o Substantial Assurance on Treasury Management
o Limited Assurance opinion for Debt Management
o Limited Assurance opinion related to Climate Change
o Reasonable Assurance on Procurement
o Reasonable Assurance for Management of Covid-19 Grants
o Reasonable Assurance for Governance.
In response to questions, the Committee was advised:
· There was an action plan in place to address the issues raised.
· The level of debt was £0.560m in 2017/18 but in 2020/21 was £1.386m. The debt recovery team had been reassigned to assist with the delivery of the Covid Grant schemes but were now back on their normal duties in debt recovery.
· A Sustainability and Climate Officer had been appointed jointly with Torridge District Council (TDC).
· The increase in the number of waivers issued by senior officers under delegated powers to set aside the requirement to seek at least three quotes was in part due to a number of contracts needing to be procured quickly from a supplier that had stock during the pandemic. Heads of Service had been reminded of the implications of issuing waivers rather than entering into contracts that had been properly procured.
RESOLVED that the Internal Audit Progress report be noted.