Agenda item

Internal Audit Update - LGSS

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At the Chair’s invitation, Jacinta presented the LGSS internal audit update and explained that in terms of the 2019/20 audits, some progress had been made. The agresso audit was currently in the draft stage and assurance was showing as satisfactory. It was hoped that LGSS would be able to finalise the agresso review within the next week As part of the agresso review, it was found that the infrastructure for agresso was held at the Guildhall, and at the time of the review, there was no evidence that the backups held at Bridge Depot were being regularly tested. It was also found that there was no evidence of patching across the agresso server.


The Chief Finance Officer explained that Northampton Borough Council’s IT is outsourced entirely to LGSS, and the servers are physically stored at the Guildhall and Bridge Street Depot, but Northampton County Council holds the responsibility for monitoring these. He assured the Audit Committee he would be taking this up with the Director of IT who was responsible for delivering this service.


Jacinta continued to present her report and explained that in regards to the treasury management and general ledger audits, as a result of the impact of Covid-19, it was agreed that the work would be undertaken during 2020-21 to allow for appropriate coverage of activity, with a revised start date of December 2020. Jacinta explained that it had been decided for the work to be restarted, given the time lapse with covid-19 and the transfer of the finance department from LGSS back to the County Council.


In terms of the 2020/21 audits, the Council tax audit had been completed with an emerging opinion of good assurance and minor impact. The balance sheet reviews for Q1-2 had been completed and Q3 was underway. Jacinta concluded her report and shared that she was confident LGSS would be on track to complete the rest of the audits as planned for 2020/21.


The Chair thanked Jacinta for her report and requested that a report could be brought to the next Audit Committee meeting in March detailing the progress of the audits and a position statement, in line with the move to West Northants Unitary.


Members asked questions surrounding staff handovers and the retention of specialist knowledge in light of the reorganisation of service areas and staff. The Chief Finance Officer assured that in terms of a system handover, the Unitary would be using a new system, ERP Gold which was being built informed by staff expertise and collaborative working. He explained the controls were currently being developed, and the finance workstream which included the Finance Directors, Section 151 officers and Councillors for West Northants. The Chief Finance Officer summarised that he would be providing a detailed handover for the Section 151 Officer of West Northants, Martin Henry and Steve Clark from EY was on hand to ensure that each of the sovereign councils provided an efficient handover.


RESOLVED: That the Audit Committee noted the progress with delivery of the 2020-21 audit plan.

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