The Head of Corporate Resources introduced the report which covered progress against the internal audit plans, annual audit plans for 2018/19, and progress of implementation of internal audit recommendations. He highlighted that officers were 4/5 weeks behind the intended point but the audit would be completed by June 2018. The Audit Manager informed the Panel that the audit plan would change significantly next year as a new team would be in place, plus a new finance system, as officers wanted to ensure the finance system was right.
The Head of Financial Services informed Panel Members that officers were looking at rebasing the Oracle cloud program. He said the original plan was to go live in April 2018, but the plan now was that core Human Resources, Organogram Plan, ERP- Finance and Procurement would go live in May 2018. Payroll and the rest of Human Resources would probably be a soft go live in July 2018 with a plan to go live in October 2018. Panel Members were told this was mainly because data migration was causing a lot of problems.
Panel Members noted that there were a lot of things to put in place; key users training, user acceptance, and integration testing. Budget holders were receiving information to ensure they know what they need to do. The Head of Financial Services said they have a one week gap to test things, and this would prove very challenging.
Mr Pleace said he was confident the system would not go live in May, there was a lot of work to be done and by nature these things were problematic. He said one week to test things was unrealistic. Mr Pleace said he was concerned that Panel Members were not getting enough information on financial data. Stephen Warren said it should be the same information budget holders receive. The Head of Financial Services said if Panel Members needed additional reports officers were happy to provide these. He said data was important to this work, and the business readiness could be challenging. Mr Pleace said data and business readiness were key to the process.
Carole Murray said she could understand officers not being able to do more testing but she hoped they were adding value to the work, and maybe in the annual report officers could say how much audit hours had been involved.
Councillor Ingleby asked how much it cost to review the new school trading website, and officers said this figure could be added to the audit. Officers said they were not trying to audit management decisions but wanted to see how they got to their decision.
Councillor Ingleby asked whether the information on the types of controls and recommendations made was comprehensive, and was told the overall analysis would be done on the annual assurance report. Councillor Ingleby asked whether this report would be going to the Pension Board, it was noted that this was the case.
Mr Warren said he was concerned that as stated in paragraph 9.3 of the report managers were closing off recommendations as completed when thy have not done the work. Officers responded that sometimes managers think they had done or completed the work, but when checked by the audit team, auditors realise the work was not completed, they then reopen it. Officers emphasised they were trying to ensure all work was completed. Mr Warren requested future reports to show high priority recommendations, this was agreed.
Action >>>>>> Head of Corporate Resources.
Carole Murray asked whether officers thought schools had adequate support from their finance section to do their recommendations. The Head of Audit said the new management system would be available to schools and this would assist them in doing their recommendations. The Head of Corporate Resources told Panel Members that officers do follow up work which involved the school improvement team. He said there was a very good network of support for schools.
Carole Murray said she was disappointed with the information on the audit plan. She asked how many in-house days and external days had been put into the work. She also said there were a lot of acronyms which were confusing. Carole Murray said it would be helpful if some indication was given as to why this particular audit was selected. The Audit Manager apologised and said at the time the plan was done officers were not sure how many people would be in the audit team, but the June report would have all these information.
Action >>>>>> Head of Corporate Resources
Mr Warren said Independent Panel Members would like to see the risk register, and was told the recent Management Report that went to the last Mayor and Cabinet meeting included the risk register, and this would be sent to them as soon as possible.
Action >>>>>> Committee Clerk
RESOLVED that the report be noted.
The Chair said this was the last Panel meeting of the current administration and Councillors Hilton, Jacca and Klier would be leaving the Council. He thanked them for all their contribution to the Audit Panel.
Meeting ended: 8:10pm Chair……………….