Scottish Borders Council

Agenda item

Internal Audit Work to March 2021

Consider a report by Chief Officer Audit & Risk on findings from recent work carried out by Internal Audit.  (Copy attached).


4.1     With reference to paragraph 6 of the Minute of 8 March 2021, there had been circulated copies of a report by the Chief Officer Audit and Risk which provided Members of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee with details of the recent work carried out by Internal Audit and the recommended audit actions agreed by Management to improve internal controls and governance arrangements.  The work Internal Audit had carried out during the period from 20 February to 31 March 2021 was detailed in the report.  During the period, a total of three final Internal Audit reports had been issued.  There was one recommendation made associated with one of the reports (1 Medium-rated).  An Executive Summary of the final Internal Audit reports issued, including audit objective, findings, good practice, recommendations (where appropriate) and the Chief Officer Audit and Risk’s independent and objective opinion on the adequacy of the control environment and governance arrangements within each audit area, was detailed in Appendix 1 to the report.   The Chief Officer Audit and Risk highlighted the main points of the three elements of the report which related to: Business World ERP System Key Controls; Learning Disabilities Services Financial Management; and Information Governance   In response to questions, the Chief Officer Audit & Risk clarified that the medium rated recommendation related to the Learning Disability Service and advised that improvement actions were ongoing to address the risk and would continue to be monitored.  The Learning Disability Service included residential services, day services, contracted services and voluntary services. With regard to commissioning arrangements the Chief Officer Audit & Risk advised that work was underway to ascertain costs for benchmarking purposes.  However, during the pandemic a different provision had been required under restrictions which had involved additional costs.   The Executive Director Finance and Regulatory added that Corporate Management Team was reviewing the Learning Disability Service delivery of savings in line with the budget. Members requested that an update on the progress of the Learning Disabilities Service Financial Management recommendation be presented to the Audit and Scrutiny Committee in four months’ time.


4.2     With regard to the management of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, the Chief Officer Audit and Risk explained that the Information Governance Group met every quarter and these were routinely monitored to ensure the Council was fulfilling its obligations.  If it was considered further resources were required the Chief Legal Officer would escalate the request to CMT.   Members noted that FOI requests placed a significant burden on officers’ time, many of which were generated by commercial businesses.  The Chairman suggested that if Members required a scrutiny review be brought forward for consideration they discuss with the Clerk to the Council following the meeting.



(a)        NOTED:

(i)         the final assurance reports issued in the period from 20 February to  31   March 2021 associated with the delivery of the approved Internal Audit Annual Plan 2020/21; and

(ii)        the Internal Audit Consultancy and other work carried out in accordance with the approved Internal Audit Charter.


(b)       AGREED:


               (i)      to acknowledge the assurance provided on internal controls and governance arrangements in place for the areas covered by this Internal Audit work; and


            (ii)     in respect of the Learning Disabilities Service Financial Management  recommendation, that an update with detail of progress be presented to the Audit and Scrutiny Committee in four months’ time.


Supporting documents:



Scottish Borders Council

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