Docstoc

Conveyancing - Milton Keynes Council

Document Sample
Conveyancing - Milton Keynes Council Powered By Docstoc
					                             CONVEYANCING




Final Distribution
       Head of Legal and Property Services
       Principal Solicitor
       Business Support Team Leader
       Head of Finance
       Audit Manager, Audit Commission
       Assistant Chief Executive


       Lynda Baker – Audit Manager
       Nicholas Baines - Auditor


       November 2006
MKC INTERNAL AUDIT SERVICE                                             CONVEYANCING




                                EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

1     INTRODUCTION

1.1   Background
      The Conveyancing section forms part of the Legal Department. The service
      deals with legal matters concerning buying and selling of land and properties
      on behalf of Milton Keynes Council. High volume property transactions dealt
      with by the section are the sale of council houses under right to buy legislation
      and shared ownership properties. There were 164 “Right to Buy” and shared
      ownership properties sold between April 2005 to April 2006.
1.2   Objectives and Scope
      The objectives of the audit were to ensure that:

      a)     All Conveyancing jobs are processed efficiently.


      b)     Money from sales is accounted for.


      c)     MKC acquires proper title documents to purchased property.


      d)     Recharges to client departments are accurate.


      e)     Management is properly controlling the function.


      Key: 1 = Poor, 3 = Good


2     AUDIT OPINION

      Good - Control objectives are largely met with a minor recommendation for
      improvement. No major areas of risk.




AUDIT REPORT – E130/06                     1                           NOVEMBER 2006
MKC INTERNAL AUDIT SERVICE                                         CONVEYANCING


3     CONCLUSIONS

3.1   Good controls are in place at the Conveyancing section particularly with
      regard to Conveyancing jobs being completed within the required timescale.
      However the section are currently not monitoring the set Performance
      Indicators. The section will not know whether the required standard is being
      achieved.

4     WAY FORWARD

4.1   All recommendations are in the Management Action Plan (Page 4). Good
      controls are shown in section 5, overleaf.
4.2   Management is properly controlling the function
      Performance Indicators should be monitored on a regular basis and action
      undertaken if they are not being met.




AUDIT REPORT – E130/06                  2                          NOVEMBER 2006
MKC INTERNAL AUDIT SERVICE                                          CONVEYANCING




                         FINDINGS SUMMARY

5     GOOD INTERNAL CONTROLS

      The following areas were tested and confirmed as having good internal
      controls with no problems to report:-
5.1   All Conveyancing jobs are processed efficiently.
      Reasons why expected completion dates are not met are recorded in the
      instruction file.
5.2   Money from sales is accounted for.
      All income due from the sales of Right to Buy properties had been received
      and correctly entered onto the SAP system.
      The section ensures all debts are paid, including outstanding rent, over paid
      housing benefit, council tax and former tenant arrears before selling the
      property.
5.3   MKC acquires proper title documents to purchased property.
      MKC hold the deeds to all acquired properties.
5.4   Recharges to client departments are accurate.
      Fees for Conveyancing are included in the invoice for the purchase of a
      property. Conveyancing fees are received at the completion of an instruction.




AUDIT REPORT – E130/06                   3                          NOVEMBER 2006
MKC INTERNAL AUDIT SERVICE                                                                                                                                                       CONVEYANCING




                                                                    MANAGEMENT ACTION PLAN
The recommendations are categorised on the following basis:
    Essential      -     Implementation is required with immediate effect to address a weakness that fundamentally undermines the control of that system.
    Important      -     Implementation is required within a short period of time to address weaknesses that seriously undermine the control of that system.
    Standard       -     Management need to take recommended action within a reasonable period to address weaknesses that may undermine system control.


 Ref                        Findings                          Risk/ Implication                    Recommendation                           Management Comments                      Manager
                                                                                                                                                                                   Responsible &
                                                                                                                                                                                    Target Date
1       Management is properly controlling the It is not known                         Standard                                Agreed although the section has Principal Solicitor
        function                                 whether the section                   Performance Indicators should be        difficulty   monitoring      their 30/11/2006
        If the Conveyancing section is unable to is   meeting     the                  monitored on a regular basis and        performance indicators due to the
        monitor Performance Indicators using the required standard.                    action should be undertaken if they are Solcase system not currently
        Solcase system then the section should                                         not being met.                          being able to run the required
        either change the reporting on the Solcase                                                                             reports.
        system or use a different method to
        monitor Performance Indicators.


NB Any cost implications arising from implementation of the recommendations by HBS must be agreed in advance with the appropriate Client Officer and the Partnership Delivery Manager




AUDIT REPORT – E130/06                                                                                 4                                                                         NOVEMBER 2006