Internal Audit Recommendation from 200809 reports Internal by fjo63621

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									Internal Audit Recommendation
from 2008/09 reports
Internal Control Issue Identified       Original Management response from Progress Update on implementing
                                        2008/09                           the internal audit recommendations

Accounting Systems and Budgetary Control
Segregation of duties over the The remedial action is already is place. The remedial action continues to be in
authorisation of standing data changes Audit reports are produced daily by place.
                                       Financials and are emailed to several
                                       members of the finance team for check
                                       and review with the amendment forms.
                                       A member of the finance team has
                                       reviewed the reports for the period Nov
                                       to Feb 2009.

Follow Up 07/08
Inefficient system in place to monitor The New Housing & Advice &                 Spreadsheet in place to monitor the
households          in       temporary Homelessness IT module has an              number of households in Temporary
accommodation.                         appropriate set of reports to monitor      Accommodation, which is reviewed by
                                       and          manage         temporary      the    Housing    Advisor     weekly.
                                       accommodation. These will be run           Implementation of new IT module
                                       regularly by the Housing Advice Team       delayed   until  2010,    after  the
                                       Leader.                                    implementation of Devon Home
                                                                                  Choice.



Grant audits and progress reports – Project monitoring requirements to be         Final audit for TVMHP completed for
there is a risk that the funding bodies included as Milestones on Covalent.       Objective 2 – all grant has now been
will withdraw or clawback funding       The Tamar Valley Mining Heritage          paid. This project is currently on hold
                                        Project (TVMHP) requires a final audit.   pending the outcome of the sale of
                                        SWRDA funding towards Opportunity         Morwellham Quay.
                                        Okehampton requires annual progress
                                        report.                                   An annual progress report has been
                                                                                  completed for SWRDA funding on
                                                                                  Opportunity Okehampton.


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Internal Audit Recommendation
from 2008/09 reports
Internal Control Issue Identified         Original Management response from Progress Update on implementing
                                          2008/09                           the internal audit recommendations

Implementation of Academy revenues Ongoing                                          There is now a log kept at The Quay of
& benefits system – there is no record                                              back-ups that are successful or have
of backups taken and no testing of                                                  failed.
backups to ensure their integrity.                                                  Procedures to verify the data on the
                                                                                    tapes are being developed within the
                                                                                    shared service for revenues and
                                                                                    benefits which commenced on 1st
                                                                                    October 2009.
Implementation of Academy revenues        Recommended that the level of             The servers at The Quay are now
& benefits system – The Council’s         disaster recovery / business continuity   included in the contract that SHDC has
disaster recovery / business continuity   service required is defined by the        with    NDR       (National     Disaster
arrangements do not consider the          Council in the new shared service with    Recovery).
revenues & benefits system.               South Hams District Council.              Full details of the cover provided can
                                                                                    be obtained from the ICT Manager at
                                                                                    SHDC.
Payroll and Staff Expenses – No The payroll contract is now signed with             Lisa Buckle is continuing to action this
signed contract between West Devon effect from 1 June 2009.                         matter.
and South Hams currently exists
                                                                        Clarification meetings have taken place
                                                                        between WDBC and SHDC on what is
                                                                        & isn’t included in the contract, which
                                                                        was signed on 1 June 2009.
Governance of the Devon Building The Partnership Agreement has to be A project is underway to address these
Control Partnership - Treatment of renewed. The proposal is to re-write issues and the Council has requested
overheads and other costs benefiting the Agreement to amend new quotes from accountancy firms to
both the Council’s and the Partnership accountancy procedures.          provide specialist advice in this area.
                                                                        However it is unlikely this project will
                                                                        be complete before April 2010.




                                                            39
Internal Audit Recommendation
from 2008/09 reports
Internal Control Issue Identified     Original Management response from Progress Update on implementing
                                      2008/09                           the internal audit recommendations

Governance of the Devon Building Recommendation that the structure of          This recommendation has been sent to
Control Partnership – Format of the report be updated to include a             the Head of Finance in SHDC to
management information           comparison of actual income and               implement, as South Hams have the
                                 expenditure for the month and year to         S151 responsibility for the Partnership.
                                 date against budget. Variances against
                                 budget should have been explicitly
                                 shown upon the face of the report.

Lack of evidence to support action This is already part of the EH Shared       SHDC Health and Safety Advisor has
being taken to mitigate health & safety Service Programme. SHDC Safety         now carried out training of managers
risks                                   Advisor will assist in setting up      and a training programme for
                                        systems and processes. The collation   supervisors is being planned. SHDC
                                        of the departmental risk assessments   and WDBC policies and procedures
                                        has commenced and plans are in place   are now being aligned.
                                        to implement the recommendations in
                                        full. All WDBC Heads of service have
                                        had meetings with the SHDC Safety
                                        advisor and the risk assessments are
                                        in the process of being signed off.
Lack of formal reporting to and Health & Safety is now included in the         Management also receive a quarterly
monitoring by senior management and staff consultative Forums where a          update
members – Health & Safety               member of Management Board and a
                                        Councillor attend.




                                                        40
Internal Audit Recommendation
from 2008/09 reports
Internal Control Issue Identified        Original Management response from Progress Update on implementing
                                         2008/09                           the internal audit recommendations

Electrical   equipment   not   regularly There is no Council policy specifying There is now a policy in place for a
tested.                                  the regularity of PAT testing.        cycle of testing over a 3 year period
                                                                               with the exception of those items that
                                                                               require annual tests. All these tests are
                                                                               now recorded electronically, having
                                                                               been recoded in book form until 2008.
NNDR
Reconciliation to finance system. A      It is agreed that reconciliation should       Reconciliation as required is performed
reconciliation between Academy and       be done on a daily basis, and work is         on a daily basis.
the Council’s finance system should be   on-going to achieve a position where
performed on a daily basis.              this is possible. The current difficulty is
                                         in proving which system is correct and
                                         where the differences are, as it is often
                                         not the academy system which is
                                         wrong.
Void properties by parish report.        This issue is under investigation. All        All voids were inspected prior to 1
                                         inspections are recorded on Academy           October 2009.
                                         after completion. All current voids have
                                         been identified and will be inspected
                                         as per the Council’s schedule.
VAT
Okehampton Offices                       A voluntary disclosure was sent to Completed – no further action required.
                                         HMRC on 27/3/09. Following receipt of
                                         an assessment, payment has been
                                         made to HMRC. A VAT invoice has
                                         been sent to McCarthy and Stone and
                                         this has been paid in full.
Waste Depot / vehicle workshop           Decision whether Unit 6 needs to be Investigation currently taking place.
                                         opted to tax is still being considered
                                         and advice is being sought.



                                                             41
Internal Audit Recommendation
from 2008/09 reports
Internal Control Issue Identified      Original Management response from Progress Update on implementing
                                       2008/09                           the internal audit recommendations

Inventories and Assets
Disposal of inventory                  The ICT support manager will A Disposal Inventory has been
                                       authorise disposal, and records kept in completed, except that no value is
                                       accordance .                            estimated on the disposed of kit as it
                                                                               has no value – we pay to have it
                                                                               disposed in accordance with the
                                                                               “Waste Electrical and Electronic
                                                                               Equipment (WEEE)” directive.
Security of Council property           NetConsent (Network based Policy Next reminder to all staff to be sent out
                                       and Information promulgation system) January 2010.
                                       will be used to remind users on a
                                       regular basis of their responsibilities
                                       with regards to security.



Debtors

Debt collection – policy and process   The Council’s debt collection policy      The Council are currently involved in a
                                       has been formally documented and we       tender for Bailiff services and will look
                                       will be looking to update this now that   to formally review the debt collection
                                       we have implemented the new finance       policy and process once a supplier has
                                       system.                                   been chosen.




                                                         42
Internal Audit Recommendation
from 2008/09 reports
Internal Control Issue Identified    Original Management response from Progress Update on implementing
                                     2008/09                           the internal audit recommendations

Investigation of Planning Appeal
Printing limitations of MVM system   The Council is planning to switch from Checklist introduced and procedures
                                     the MVM system to M3.                  changed so that case officer has
                                                                            overall responsibility (A short term
                                                                            solution was introduced early after the
                                                                            problem occurred).
                                                                            Newly installed M3 system does not
                                                                            have the buffer so will not stop printing
                                                                            when the 60th line has been reached
                                                                            (A long term solution is now in place).




                                                       43
Internal Audit Recommendation
from 2008/09 reports
Internal Control Issue Identified      Original Management response from Progress Update on implementing
                                       2008/09                           the internal audit recommendations

Performance Management Systems
Use of Covalent system for monitoring Agreed action – (1) Heads of service       (1) This is happening –          next
performance                           reminded that data should be entered       reminder 14th December 2009.
                                      and actions updated on a regular
                                      basis, at a minimum quarterly.             (2)   2008/09 indicators all updated,
                                      (2) Corporate Performance Officer to       plus a tidy up has been done of all
                                      liaise with Heads of Service and obtain    indicators with those no longer
                                      data to update key indicators and          relevant archived
                                      actions for the 2008/09 year end.
                                       (3) Corporate Improvement Officer will    (3)   Corporate Improvement officer
                                      monitor Covalent & send reminders to       chases on a quarterly basis in line
                                      responsible officers where data is not     with contract performance monitoring
                                      being regularly updated, on a quarterly    to     Committees.      Improvement
                                      basis. Persistent failure to update        Programme Manager liaises with
                                      Covalent on the part of the service will   relevant Head of Service where the
                                      be escalated to the Improvement            problem persists.
                                      Programme Manager, who will liaise
                                      with the relevant Head of Service.         (4)   Customer First Plan reviewed in
                                      (4) Customer First Plan to be reviewed     July 2009. New plan is on the
                                      and updated to reflect changes in          website. Reference to obsolete
                                      some indicators. Once completed a          indicators removed. Key performance
                                      report will be added into Covalent and     indicators    reported   to   relevant
                                      reported to Members and published on       committees on a quarterly basis and
                                      the website quarterly.                     reports added to the website.
                                                                                 (5)   The Corporate Improvement
                                       (5) As part of Improvement Unit           Officer spot checks indicators as
                                       Service Plan spot checks are to be        agreed     with    the   Improvement
                                       carried out on inputted data.             Programme manager. Indicators have
                                                                                 been agreed and deadline to
                                                                                 complete is 31st January 2010.



                                                         44
Internal Audit Recommendation
from 2008/09 reports
Internal Control Issue Identified       Original Management response from Progress Update on implementing
                                        2008/09                           the internal audit recommendations

Risk management action        plan   to A risk management action plan should          Risk reports to be redesigned to
mitigate significant risks              be developed which sets out further           include actions to be taken as well as
                                        action to be taken to mitigate these          actions already taken.
                                        risks to an acceptable level. This
                                        should include dates by which action
                                        should be taken.

                                        The Audit Committee should be
                                        comfortable with the level of further
                                        work being carried out and should then
                                        monitor the implementation of these
                                        controls.



 Council Tax
Reconciliation to finance system        It is agreed that reconciliation should       Reconciliation is now performed on a
                                        be done on a daily basis, and work is         daily basis
                                        on-going to achieve a position where
                                        this is possible. The current difficulty is
                                        in proving which system is correct and
                                        where the differences are, as it is often
                                        not the Academy system which is
                                        wrong.

Review of discounts applied             The Client Unit has agreed to                 From April – Sept 09 spot checks
                                        incorporate a spot check on discounts         were undertaken by the Client Unit.
                                        applied as part of their two- monthly         This is now a shared service with
                                        review process.                               South Hams District Council where
                                                                                      the spot checks have been continued.



                                                            45
Internal Audit Recommendation
from 2008/09 reports
Internal Control Issue Identified         Original Management response from Progress Update on implementing
                                          2008/09                           the internal audit recommendations

Confirmation of student status          The first part of the current review to     Review of student exemptions
                                        take place by the end of February           completed and instructions issued to
                                        2009. (issue of initial letters). We will   staff about the change in procedure.
                                        ensure that where a student is on the
                                        University of Plymouth spreadsheet
                                        reference will be made to this on both
                                        Academy and Comino. Change in
                                        procedure to be circulated to revenue
                                        staff.
Confirmation    of    Single     Person Following discussions between the           Single person Discount review
Discount                                Client Unit and the contractor, Council     commenced in July 2009 and is due
                                        Tax accounts with a single person           to be completed by the end of the
                                        discount will be reviewed on an annual      financial year.
                                        basis.
On Street Car Parking
Procedures for issuing Penalty Charge Devon County Council will shortly be          Manuals still not issued. However,
Notices (PCNs)                        supplying all Districts with procedure        Devon Car Park Managers Group
                                      manuals.                                      have agreed to produce procedures in
                                                                                    early 2010. In addition, refresher
                                                                                    training will be provided and a course
                                                                                    will be held in early 2010.

Retention of evidence for decisions As above.                                       All evidence is recorded on the
regarding appeals                                                                   appropriate PCN record on the Spur
                                                                                    software.

Reporting of required information to We are waiting for SPUR to set up              Reports now set up and seem to be
Devon County Council                 these and other standard reports. We           satisfactory.
                                     will chase SPUR.




                                                            46
Internal Audit Recommendation
from 2008/09 reports
Internal Control Issue Identified     Original Management response from Progress Update on implementing
                                      2008/09                           the internal audit recommendations

Housing Benefits
Reconciliations between Academy and The outstanding problems with this         Reconciliations    are     performed
Powersolve                          reconciliation work have now been          monthly by the Finance team.
                                    resolved. Reconciliations for the end of
                                    the financial year 2008/09 have been
                                    produced.        Regular       (monthly)
                                    reconciliations between the Revenues
                                    and Benefits system and the
                                    authority’s finance system can now be
                                    implemented.

Collection of Overpayments            Given the imminent changes in the        This issue is being addressed within
                                      provision of the Benefits Service and    the shared service for revenues and
                                      the inherent requirement for a Client    benefits which commenced on 1st
                                      unit it is inappropriate to consider     October 2009.
                                      altering the role of a member of the
                                      Client unit at this time.


Shared Services
Travel expenditure                    There will be a review of travel         A review of the travel policy has been
                                      expenditure as part of the budget        undertaken in December 2009.
                                      setting process 2010/11 and savings      Other services that undertake a
                                      will be quantified.                      shared arrangement will consider
                                                                               travel costs and savings as part of
                                                                               their business case.




                                                        47
Internal Audit Recommendation
from 2008/09 reports
Internal Control Issue Identified      Original Management response from Progress Update on implementing
                                       2008/09                           the internal audit recommendations

Content of shared service agreements   Recommended that WDBC adopt best            Some larger shared services (such as
                                       practice and ensure that financial          Revenues and Benefits) have a
                                       agreements are put in place for all         specific shared services agreement,
                                       WDBC shared services which cover            for   example,    setting  out   the
                                       the basis of sharing costs and any          responsibilities of each Council.
                                       other overall surpluses or deficits. This   Shared service agreements will be
                                       will be particularly important as the       reviewed to ensure best practice is
                                       level of shared service integration         adopted.
                                       becomes more complex.

                                       Details of the agreement should be
                                       provided to finance to ensure that all
                                       relevant shared services are known
                                       and that the appropriate share of costs
                                       and surpluses/ deficits are accounted
                                       for within WDBC.

                                       In addition basic exit strategy details
                                       that include responsibilities of each
                                       local authority in this circumstance
                                       should also be included within a formal
                                       agreement.
Completion    of    shared     service All shared service agreements will be       All of the shared service operating
agreements                             signed in advance of arrangements           agreements are now signed.
                                       commencing.




                                                          48
Internal Audit Recommendation
from 2008/09 reports
Internal Control Issue Identified     Original Management response from Progress Update on implementing
                                      2008/09                           the internal audit recommendations

Corporate Governance
Councillor development and training   The Devon-wide initiative is to be           Personal Development Plans (PDPs)
                                      discussed       with     Members       and   will be completed for all Members in
                                      Management Board to agree whether            2009-2010.
                                      work can start on this, with sufficient
                                      resources to do it.
                                      In addition, the Council should ensure
                                      that all training activity is captured and
                                      recorded. Evidence of attendance at
                                      training events should be retained.
Annual Governance Statement (AGS)     When completing the AGS – detail             This will be completed for 2009/2010
                                      links to evidence in a similar manner to     AGS statement.
                                      the use of resources.
                                      Paragraphs on internal audit and
                                      external audit are already included
                                      within the AGS under their own
                                      heading. Specific reference will be
                                      made to them under other headings
                                      where it is not duplicating information
                                      already included in the AGS.

Committee structure review            It has been agreed that all Committees       The update remains the same as the
                                      will complete self-assessments on an         earlier management response. The
                                      annual basis. See the Action Plan as         self-assessments will be completed at
                                      per the Audit Committee paper.               the June 2010 cycle of Committees,
                                                                                   looking back on the year.
Monitoring of audit recommendations   As part of the Audit Committee’s work        This report to the Audit Committee
                                      plan there are now half yearly review        26th January 2010, is to facilitate this
                                      schedules to follow up progress made         requirement.
                                      in         implementing          audit
                                      recommendations.


                                                         49
Internal Audit Recommendation
from 2008/09 reports
Internal Control Issue Identified      Original Management response from Progress Update on implementing
                                       2008/09                           the internal audit recommendations

 Planning Applications, Land Charges and Development Control
Physical Security of Land Charge and We recommended that access to the          This has been resolved now as there
Planning Application Documentation   storage rooms is restricted and that       is no public access to this part of the
                                     personal land searches are dealt with      building.
                                     in areas away from the planning
                                     department.
                                     This is a temporary problem which will
                                     be resolved when the new office opens
                                     as personal searches will then be
                                     conducted well away from the records.
                                     A key pad could be fitted to the door as
                                     a temporary measure but would be an
                                     inconvenience to other users.
Lack of Documented Procedures for There is potential for abortive work if       The new M3 system went live on
Land Charges                         current procedures change as a result      3/12/09 – all Technical Support Staff
                                     of migration to M3. Suggest Land           have received training for Land
                                     Charges Officer prepares general           Charges.        There is a very
                                     guidance then upgrades it with specific    comprehensive M3 user manual.
                                     links to M3 when installed. Mitigate
                                     against risk by ensuring other
                                     Technical Support Officers have
                                     refresher days on land charges every 4
                                     weeks.




                                                         50
Internal Audit Recommendation
from 2008/09 reports
Internal Control Issue Identified     Original Management response from Progress Update on implementing
                                      2008/09                           the internal audit recommendations

Leisure and Tourism
Targets set for Leisure Connections   We understand that targets are in the   Performance indicators entered on
                                      process of being reviewed in            Covalent     and   matched       with
                                      conjunction with the contractor. We     contractor’s 90 day plan, which is
                                      recommend that management ensure        considered at quarterly meetings
                                      that the new targets are SMART so       between the contractor, officers and
                                      that performance can be measured        Members.
                                      appropriately.




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