Proposed Internal Audit Plan 2017/18
The Chief Auditor introduced his report to formally confirm that the internal audit plan for 2017/18 had been noted by the Audit Committee.
Councillor Sinden queried the progress of the car park machines for operating the new coinage. The Chief Auditor advised that Cale Briparc is managing the work to reconfigure the machines. A number of the machines have already been upgraded and reconfigured. Software will advise when the machines are full. The last two upgrades for 5p and 50p coins were successful and there are no problems.
Councillor Chowney asked what the Euro Grant Audit involved. The Chief Auditor said there were a lot of other grants which were not euro grants as well as CAN and Shine that are. The Assistant Director Financial Services and Revenues added that we make provision in the audit plan for euro grant work which covers its costs. It does impact on audit plan but is helpful to have in house experience.
Councillor Rankin asked how the work on Syrian refugees was shared. He said part of the audit plan involves handling large amounts of cash. Controls are there at the beginning before cash is given to refugees, however we need to see the whole system and test how the cash is spent and not past around other people. To see evidence that the money is spent for the purpose it is intended.
Councillor Charman said people will automatically know what they entitled to – leading to a risk of exploitation. The Assistant Director Financial Services and Revenues said that government has provided guidance on housing and spending. Refugees are entitled to £200 in cash for which they sign for. The audit will see if it achieves its objective of balance of funds and how spent. We will determine terms of reference and overall controls and individual controls for protection of staff. It will be a full and thorough audit as the Syrian refugee scheme will last for next 5 years.
Councillor Chowney stated that the refugees cannot get a bank account because they don’t have the credentials. Providing a plastic card to withdraw money is an expensive process. I raise this as something you look at. Having raised this with the local MP/Home Secretary, she said she will look into this.
Councillor Webb asked if Hastings were having these discussions with Credit Union. The Assistant Director Financial Services and Revenues said there was an issue regarding the bank account and universal credit bank account holding up all the payments which their total support depends on, which the council support during that period.
Councillor Chowney said he believes the Credit Union is involved in loading up cards. However, they are a volunteer organisation, and so there is only so much they can do.
Councillor Rankin referred to the services which he felt had a reputation and audit risk - drill down at another meeting. He said he was concerned cash was sent out and not reaching its destination, vulnerable people. It is something that needs to be looked in a lot of detail. The Assistant Director Financial Services and Revenues said he would bring a report back to the committee which members could follow up with independent questions. Members said they were interested in having the services here at a separate seminar. The Assistant Director Financial Services and Revenues said he would bring the item forward and join together on the forward plan.
RESOLVED (unanimously) that the report be noted.
The reason for this decision was:
The Annual Audit Letter is for all members and posted to the Council’s website. It is of particular interest to those charged with governance.