Agenda item

To consider the attached report.


Contact Officer:


The Committee received a report updating it on the Internal Audit Plan for 2020/21.  The original plan, attached as Appendix B to the agenda, had been prepared in consultation with the S151 Officer and internal audit and risk leads from the legacy Councils, as well as discussion with the Corporate and Service Directors for the Buckinghamshire Council, and been submitted to the meeting on 10 June 2020. 


Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the council, and further to conversations with various other Heads of Internal Audit, and taking into account other advice from professional bodies, we have been carefully considering what we need to achieve in 2020/21 with regards Internal Audit work during these unprecedented times and are mindful that a proportionate approach to Internal Audit must be taken to allow council staff and members to focus on the recovery from the Covid-19 crisis and council priorities.


The Head of Business Assurance (& Chief Auditor) had been of liaising with the Corporate and Service Directors to decide which areas of audit activity should not be carried out this year, but in the context of being able to provide adequate assurance over key risk areas and provide an opinion at the end of the year.  This task was further complicated by the increased risks faced through the Unitary transition and the need to ensure that the key control framework is operating effectively to mitigate the risks.


The proposed changes were included at Appendix A and were highlighted in yellow. The changes included some audits to be postponed to 2021/22, some to be amalgamated with other audits and new audit areas which have been identified as high risk.  The proposed changes had been agreed by the Audit Board on 15 July 2020.


Several audits were now in progress as agreed by the Audit and Governance Committee in June 2020, and the outputs would be reported to the Committee in September.  The Q2 audit were as follows:-




Audit Area


Adult’s, Health and Housing

Quality Standards and Performance

Quality Assurance Framework


Children’s Services

Social Care

Safer Recruitment

To be combined with HR Processes audit late Q2

Children’s Services


Families First Grant Verification



Neighbourhood Services

Taxi Licensing

Planning in progress



Follow up of audit actions from legacy councils

In progress



Covid-19 Response to include: Supplier Payments Process; Emergency Payments; Decision Making etc

Planning in progress

Deputy Chief Executive

Policy and Communications

Information Governance

Planning in progress

Planning, Growth and Sustainability


Local Enterprise Partnership (c/fwd from 19/20 BCC Audit Plan)

Draft report issued

Planning. Growth and Sustainability


LEP Growth Hub Funding – Grant Verification




SAP Controls

In progress through Finance Task and Finish Group



SAP Payroll Migration

Planning in progress



IT Security (including Cyber Security)

Planning in progress


Members sought additional information and were informed:


(i)                 on the HR approach that was being taken to look at the overall staffing structure for the new Council, including such issues as recruitment, vacancies and whether or not to fill them, and the use of consultants and agency staff.  Service improvement reviews had already commenced in some areas.  The Council’s HR team had asked audit to undertaken a ‘continuous’ audit of HR and people as the new staffing structures evolved.


(ii)               that the Council had been talking to its insurers about claiming against business interruption insurance.  The situation was complicated with negotiations required before some claims would be approved.  There had been a number of delays caused by insurers asking for additional information.


(iii)             that the Vale lottery had now become the Buckinghamshire lottery, covering the whole area of the new Council, with 60% of all ticket sales going  to local good causes.




(1)               That the updated Internal Audit Plan for 2020/21 be approved.


(2)               That a report in relation to the business interruption insurance be submitted to the next meeting. (Action Log)

Supporting documents: