The Chief Auditor presented a
report to inform the Audit Committee of the proposed internal audit
plan for 2020/21.
The Chief Auditor advised that
the plan had been produced after having consultation with Assistant
Directors, Senior Managers and in reference to the Council’s
agreed priorities. It consists of yearly core audits that need to
be done in more depth every 3 years. They have prioritised
different areas such as the Syrian refugee programme, the review of
Single Person Discount and IT resilience.
Every service has a recovery
plan, but these may need to be adapted given the emerging Corona
Virus crisis. Business rate legislation had been changed recently
by the government. This means that the bills that are being sent
out tomorrow will be incorrect for some. New letters will need to
be sent out and we will have to go through the list of businesses
and check if they are eligible. The government has agreed to pick
up the costs for administering this.
Councillors were asking if the
Revenue Support Grant was covering the costs of all activities
relating to the administration and collection of business rates and
council tax. It was noted that the grant received was also now
required to administer the Council Tax Support Scheme and has
continued to decrease significantly over the years.
The Chief Finance Officer had
been concerned about the level of council tax collection being
achieved. There has now been a considerable effort to increase this
and new processes and procedures, along with increasing the number
of phone calls have been made by the expanded Recovery team in
order to help with this. This has increased collections by around
£5,000 a week in recent weeks.
That the Audit Committee approves the
Internal Audit Plan 2020/21
To ensure that proper financial
management arrangements and controls are in place and operating
effectively in the Council.
Audit Committee approval of the
Internal Audit plan provides clear authority for Internal Audit to
discharge the assignments listed therein and enable monitoring of
the effectiveness of Internal Audit.