Report by the Chief Operating Officer
12.1 The Cabinet considered a report by the Chief Operating Officer.
12.2 It was RESOLVED to – note the internal audit service’s opinion on the Council’s control environment.
12.3 The report gives an opinion on the adequacy of East Sussex County Council’s control environment as a contribution to the proper, economic, efficient and effective use of resources. Reasonable assurance can be provided that East Sussex County Council had in place an adequate and effective framework of governance, risk management and internal control for the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.
Report by the Chief Internal Auditor.
7.1 The Chief Internal Auditor introduced the report. The report is in a similar format to previous years which includes a summary of the internal audit work carried out during the year and an overall Internal Audit opinion. The Chief Internal Auditor confirmed that he is able to give an overall opinion of reasonable assurance. Section 3.2 of the Internal Audit Annual report gives an explanation of how the overall opinion is reached, and section 4 outlines the information used as a basis for the overall audit opinion. Section 5 of the Annual report provides a summary of key internal audit issues including details of the audits that have received an opinion of partial assurance and an update on anti-fraud and corruption work. There were twelve audits that were still in progress at end of year, and the outcome of these audits will be reported in the following quarter (quarter 1 of 2019/20).
7.2 The Annual report also contains details of the amendments made to the Audit Plan during the year, which have already been reported to the Committee. The final sections of the report provide information on the Internal Audit performance over the year against the targets and standards that have been set and a summary of audits undertaken during 2018/19 (appendix B). Annex B of the report provides details of the Audits completed in quarter 4 of 2018/19.
7.3 It was clarified that the terms ‘audit’ and ‘review’ are used interchangeably in the report and there is no difference between them. In the context where management actions are agreed, an action is an individual activity that has to be carried out as a result of a review to improve the control environment. Any high risk actions will be tracked and the Internal Audit Team will seek written confirmation that those actions have been completed.
Quarter 4, Audit Opinions
7.4 The Committee discussed the audits that were completed during quarter 4, and those that received a partial assurance opinion. The Committee made the following comments and points for clarification.