It is the opinion of the Chief Internal Auditor that during the 2019/20 financial year:
· arrangements were in place to ensure an adequate and effective internal control environment and that where weaknesses were identified there was an appropriate action plan in place to address them;
· the systems and internal control arrangements were effective and that agreed policies and regulations were complied with;
· adequate arrangements were in place to deter and detect fraud;
· there was an appropriate and effective risk management framework;
· managers were aware of the importance of maintaining internal controls and accepted recommendations made by Internal Audit to improve controls;
· the Council’s Internal Audit service was effective and compliant with all regulations and standards as required of a professional internal audit service; and that
the arrangements, in respect of the Chief Internal Auditor, were consistent with all of the five principles set out in the CIPFA publication “The Role of the Head of Internal Audit in Public Sector Organisations”.
The Head of Audit and Management Assurance presented a report, a copy of which had been circulated to each Member and a copy of which appears as Appendix 'B’ to these Minutes in the Minute Book. The report included in full the Chief Internal Auditor's Annual Opinion Report for 2019/20 and Members also received a summary of the Chief Internal Auditor’s opinion. It was explained that the report and the further reports at agenda items 9 and 10 would place the Committee in a position to be able to consider, at agenda item 11, adoption of the BCP Council Statement of Accounts. This was the first time in which all four accounts of the BCP legacy councils had been brought together within a single audit and Statement of Accounts
In response to questions, it was confirmed that the work of Internal Audit during 2019/20 had encompassed 100% of the BCP Council key assurance functions and the context for the way in which scarce audit resource was applied towards achieving that was explained. The adequacy of the resources available to undertake the necessary Internal Audit work in order for the Chief Internal Auditor’s opinion to be produced was also confirmed. Reassurance was also provided that any action or recommendations identified in the previous year’s Internal Audit work had been properly and correctly addressed and no escalation to Audit and Governance Committee was required.
RESOLVED that the Audit & Governance Committee note the Chief Internal Auditor’s Annual Report and opinion 2019/20 on the overall adequacy of the internal control environment for BCP Council.