Agenda item

Internal Audit and Counter Fraud Work Programmes 2023/2024


The Head of Internal Audit, Veritau, presented a report to seek Members’ approval for the 2023/2024 Planned Programme of Internal Audit and to asked Members to note the Counter Fraud 2023/2024 Work Programme.


The Internal Audit work was high level, risk based and prioritised to those areas of most benefit to the Council. The Auditor tried to be responsive to emerging issues and risks that had not been identified previously and therefore the programme was flexible throughout the year.   The proposed areas of coverage had been subject to consultation with the Corporate Affairs and Audit Committee and senior officers including Directorate Management Teams.


Appendix 1 to the submitted report set out the proposed internal audit work for 2023/24 and eleven key areas identified for audit were as follows:


           strategic planning

           organisational governance

           financial governance

           risk management

           information governance

           performance management and data quality

           procurement and contract management

           people management

           asset management

           programme and project management

           ICT governance


The planned work was based on an initial assessment of risk undertaken.  The identification of risks included in the assessment had been informed in a number of ways.  This included review of the organisational risk management processes, sector-wide risk information, understanding the Council’s strategies and objectives, other known risk areas (for example areas of concern highlighted by management), the results of recent audit work and other changes in Council services and systems.


Further meetings would be held throughout the year to plan and confirm the

scope and timings of audit work and regular updates would be provided to the Corporate Affairs and Audit Committee on the coverage, scope and findings of internal audit’s work.


The total days allocated to internal audit assurance in 2023/24 was 555.


A Member queried the proposed audit in relation to Domestic Abuse.  The Internal Auditor explained that this had been identified through discussions with officers and would examine the Council’s plans for monitoring activity, assessing outcomes and what plans were in place for improving performance.


In relation to those audits marked “to do later”, the Internal Auditor clarified that those audits would be done in Quarter 3 or Quarter 4.


Internal Audit’s aim in relation to counter fraud was to prevent fraud occurring at the Council, raise awareness amongst staff, demonstrate that there were consequences of fraud and recover any money that was lost.


Proposed areas of counter fraud work in 2023/24 were set out in Appendix 2 to the submitted report. 


No estimate of time was made for each area as this would depend on the levels of suspected fraud reported to the team. The priorities for the work programme were set annually in the Council’s Counter Fraud Strategy Action Plan and annual Fraud Risk Assessment which were most recently presented to the Committee in September 2022.


The total days allocated to counter fraud work in 2023/24 was 150.


AGREED as follows that the:

1.         Internal Audit Work Programme 2023/2024 was approved.

2.         Counter Fraud Work Programme 2023/2024 was noted. 

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