Report to:

Audit Committee




31 March 2023




Chief Operating Officer



Title of report:

Orbis Internal Audit – Independent External Assessment Report



Purpose of report:


To present to Audit Committee the final report from the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) following its independent external assessment of Orbis Internal Audit (Orbis IA) against the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS).





RECOMMENDATIONS: Committee Members are recommended to:

1.       Note the findings from the report, including those areas identified where opportunities for further improvement may exist for the future.



1.            Background

1.1       At a meeting on 8 July 2022, the Audit Committee agreed the appointment of the IIA to carry out the independent external assessment of Orbis Internal Audit against PSIAS.  These Standards require such an assessment to be undertaken at least once every five years, with the scope including assessment of compliance, benchmarking against best practice and assessment of Internal Audit’s profile and impact within client organisations.


2.         Supporting Information

2.1       The review was completed during the Autumn 2022 and incorporated a full validation of the service’s own comprehensive self-assessment, interviews with key stakeholders from across all the Orbis partner councils and discussions with Internal Audit team members.  A copy of the assessor’s full report is attached as Appendix A, with the key headlines summarised below.


3.          Conclusion and Recommendations

3.1         It is pleasing to report that Orbis IA have been assessed as achieving the highest level of conformance available against professional standards with no areas of non-compliance identified, and therefore no formal recommendations for improvement arising.  In summary, the service was assessed as:


·         Excellent in:

o   Reflection of the Standards

o   Focus on performance, risk and adding value

·         Good in:

o   Operating with efficiency

o   Quality Assurance and Improvement Programme

·         Satisfactory in:

o   Coordinating and maximising assurance


3.2         In order to provide some further context to this outcome, of the nineteen assessments carried out by the IIA in 2021/22 (covering both public and private sectors), only two others were assessed as ‘Excellent’ against the standards.  In summarising their findings, the assessors commented that Orbis IA:

‘..are an established internal audit service, highly valued by the key stakeholders we spoke to in this EQA review’;

‘ members have diverse professional backgrounds, qualifications, experience and skills, making them a flexible and effective service’;

‘..can tackle a wide range of assurance and investigatory challenges and there is considerable ongoing investment in learning, development and upskilling’;

‘Key stakeholders are very confident in their competence, organisational knowledge, plans and reporting. Individual comments were very supportive, with no material areas for improvement identified’.

3.3         As explained above, in conducting this review the assessors undertook interviews with a wide range of stakeholders from across the Orbis partner authorities and external clients, which included Chief Executives, Chief Officers/Executive Directors, Chief Finance Officers and Chairs of audit committees.  It is extremely pleasing to report that the feedback received was overwhelmingly positive with high degrees of customer satisfaction throughout.  Summaries of this feedback are provided in the last two pages within the assessor’s report attached as Appendix A.


3.4         Whilst no formal recommendations in relation to the Standards were raised, the assessors did take the opportunity to highlight some areas which could support the future development of the service.  These have been summarised in Appendix B to this report, along with a response and commentary in relation to each area.



Chief Operating Officer


Contact Officer:          Russell Banks, Orbis Chief Internal Auditor, Tel: 07824 362739,





Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors External Quality Assessment Report