Report of the Head of Audit and Risk Management.
The Committee received a report of the Head of Audit and Risk Management relative to the internal audit activity since the previous Internal Audit Update Report went to the Committee in November 2018. The report advised that work on the 2017-18 Internal Audit Plan had been completed, and that work on the 2018-19 Internal Audit Plan was progressing. The report further detailed the Head of Audit and Risk Management’s opinion in relation to the adequacy and effectiveness of the control environment.
In response to Members’ concerns regarding delays in completing the work, the Head of Audit and risk Management advised that they are working with Mazars to get resources to complete by the end of the financial year. Under the current contract, there is no financial penalty for Mazars should the work be late, however they would consider including this in a future contract.
Regarding the Multi Academy Trust (MAT), the Head of Internal Audit reported that he had been unable to agree with the MAT dates for either the timing or the nature of the work and had been told that he had no locus. The Chairman advised that although the MAT is a separate legal entity, it was controlled by the Corporation, and the Court had specifically extended the area of responsibility of the ARM Committee to reflect the reputational risk held by the Corporation in respect of the MAT and all the academies. The Committee agreed that the Chief Executive of the MAT, the Director of Education, and the Chairman of the MAT should be invited to the Committee meeting in May to discuss the issue.
Members expressed concern that a target date of 31 March 2019 to give an opinion is too soon, however the Head of Audit and Risk Management advised that the work does not need to be complete for an opinion to be given, as the opinion will be given for work that has been completed since the previous Head of Internal Audit opinion (not only work completed the previous year.)
The Deputy Chairman (External) was pleased to see a performance index included in the report and would like to see this sustained and in the future, also address trends.
Members asked what arrangements are in place should recommendations not be agreed or implemented? Members were informed that when Red or Amber recommendations were not implemented, this is brought to Committee to give Members the opportunity to challenge managers’ decisions. Green recommendations are not brought to Committee.
RESOLVED – That the report be received and its contents noted.