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Internal Audit Update Report

Report of the Head of Audit and Risk Management.


Members considered an update report of the Head of Audit and Risk Management regarding internal audit and the following points were made.


·         The Head of Audit and Risk Management noted that the Internal Audit team was currently monitoring the reconciliation of police bank accounts and in particular the reconciliation between defendants’ funds for deposit and the amounts credited to the bank accounts. An update on implementation could be provided to Members in January 2019. The Head of Audit and Risk Management concluded by noting that the 2018/19 Internal Audit Workplan was currently under development.


·         In response to a request from a Member to see the minute of the Audit and Risk Management Committee meeting at which this report had been considered, another Member who was a member of that Committee noted that it had seen a different report to that before the Performance and Resource Management Sub-Committee, but nevertheless Audit and Risk Management Committee members had expressed concern at the evidence found by Internal Audit of weak internal  financial controls. Moreover, the Audit and Risk Management has expressed disappointment that the Commissioner of Police or a representative had been available to attend that meeting.


·         The Assistant Commissioner assured Members that a response had been provided by the Commissioner to the Audit and Risk Management Committee, and that on request the Force action plan for responding to the internal audit had been provided as well.


·         The Deputy Chamberlain noted, on behalf of the Police Authority, some concern that the weak financial controls identified in the internal audit were the same controls that had been identified as a problem at financial year-end.


·         The Deputy Chamberlain added that greater oversight of Police finance was now being provided on an interim basis by individuals in both the Chamberlain’s Department and the City of London Police. A report on the recruitment of a Strategic Finance post would be submitted to the Policy and Resources Committee in due course. The Assistant Commissioner noted that the interim post at the Force would conclude at the end of December 2018 and that recruitment for a full-time post was underway.


·         The Chairman welcomed the evidence of increased collaboration between the Authority and the Force but expressed concern at any gap in provision between the end of existing interim arrangements, and the time at which any full-time posts were in place. He added that the outstanding recommendations outlined within the report should be closed in a timely fashion.


·         In response to concern expressed by a Member regarding the Red Assurance Rating of City of London Police Freedom of Information Requests 2017/18, the Head of Audit and Risk Management noted that the statutory period for acknowledgement was being met, but that there was a backlog of detailed responses.


·         In response to a comment from a Member regarding outstanding evidence for the internal audit recommendation regarding Police Seized Goods 2017/18, the Commissioner of Police commented that evidence was being gathered but that it took time to gather. A Member noted that there were seventeen separate instances where evidence was lacking and that this was an area for improvement.


·         In response to comments from Members, the Head of Audit and Risk Management agreed that the format and descriptors used for current internal audit reporting could be amended to enable Members to provide more effective scrutiny.


·         The Head of Audit and Risk Management noted that likely areas for internal audit in 2018/19 would be business continuity, information technology and fuel.


RESOLVED, that the report be received.

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