Issue - meetings


Meeting: 31/01/2024 - Finance, Audit and Risk Committee (Item 25)

25 SIAS PROGRESS REPORT 2023-24 pdf icon PDF 658 KB



To received the SIAS Progress Report for the Internal Audit Plan 2023-24 as of 12 January 2024.


RESOLVED: That the Committee:


(1) Noted the SIAS Progress Report for the period to 12 January 2024.


(2) Noted the implementation status of the reported high priority recommendations.


(3) Noted the plan amendments to the 2023/24 Annual Audit Plan.


Audio recording – 4 minutes 4 seconds


The Head of Assurance presented the report entitled ‘SIAS Progress Report 2023- 2024’ and drew attention to the following, that:


·       The final reports had been issued on the Freedom of Information, Safer Recruitment and the Digital Strategy audits as highlighted in Table 2.2.

·       Independent examiner statements had been issued on the King George V Playing Field and the Workman Hall, copies were available to the Committee.

·       The high priority recommendation on Risk Training had been implemented.

·       The Disaster Recovery high priority recommendation had a revised implementation date of 31 January 2024.

·       The audit projects were 46% completed and 61% of audit days had been delivered, which was still behind the planned delivery profile.

·       The appendices showed the audits that had commenced and highlighted any delay reasons.

·       There had been capacity challenges with delivering the audit, both within SIAS, largely earlier in the financial year, and within the Council.

·       Some teams had been continuously audited throughout the year and this had led to audit fatigue and caused delays in mobilising evidence.

·       Previously advised that they were cautiously optimistic regarding delivery of the KPIs but noted that now this may be more challenging, quarter 4 could however change this.

·       When a project was delayed or moved to a different quarter the SIAS staffing resource gets redeployed, in some instances this had led to resourcing delays.

·       There had been an exit meeting on the Critical Application audit on 31 January 2024 and the audit report was imminent.

·       There was confidence that sufficient work would be delivered to support the annual assurance opinion due to be delivered in June 2024, as the majority of the audit work would be finalised by that point, the current delays were due to capacity and resourcing.

·       The Council had a red resourcing risk, which was being mirrored across Hertfordshire, and underpins the challenges supporting some audits in a timely way.

·       Work was ongoing at SIAS to review how work was delivered, but there were no concerns that an intervention was required at this time.

·       SIAS were working with Officers on rectifying the timeline of the Audit Plan.


The following Members asked questions:


·       Councillor Terry Hone

·       Councillor Sean Nolan

·       Independent Person John Cannon


In response to questions the Head of Assurance stated that:


·       The audit plan was being processed for completion in June 24, there was confidence that enough work would be completed to support an assurance opinion.

·       There were enough resources available within SIAS and support from North Herts Officers to complete the audits.

·       The two recent Client satisfaction scores had remained at 50%. The feedback had been reviewed and work was ongoing to resolve the low rate of return based on the number issued. The issues had been highlighted in employee performance reviews.

·       Had an additional point be awarded in one of the completed client satisfaction surveys, then the most recent satisfaction score would have been 100% with both surveys being satisfactory overall, as some areas had higher scoring data.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 25