To receive the quarterly progress report on Internal Audit activity.
21.1 The Head of Audit, Risk and Assurance (ARA) outlined the content of the report. He highlighted that the report had a different look and feel to previous progress reports. He said that the summaries were now more concise and that a summary of work conducted for 2022-23 was included. He said that the report included summaries of grant certification work undertaken as well as a follow up Audit for Gloucestershire Airport Ltd.
21.2 The Head of Audit, Risk and Assurance stated that there had been no new irregularities referred to the ARA Counter Fraud Team.
21.3 He said that the progress report was now broken down into quarters which was colour coded to indicate the likeliness of when each specific audit would begin.
21.4 Regarding counter-fraud, he said that thanks to the work undertaken by the National Fraud Initiative (NFI) they had recovered approximately £42,000 on behalf of the Council.
21.5 Councillor Bowkett asked how long the National Fraud Initiative would continue for. In response, the Head of Audit, Risk and Assurance said that it was a continuing process that took place every two years. He said that data was amalgamated from various sources, such as the electoral roll, payroll, creditors and council tax and that this data gets matched for Councils to view. He stated that the next round of uploading data would happen in October.
21.6 The Chair referred to the Contain Outbreak Management Fund pointed to paragraph 2.5(iv) of the report. He stated that there had been an underspend, owing to the Cyber Incident and that it had not been possible for Internal Audit to verify the carry forward balance of the grant to the financial system. He asked whether the Treasury were content with this. In response, the Group Manager (ARA) confirmed that while agreement had not been made to the general ledger, ARA had agreed the balance to the alternate records maintained by the Council and that this was reasonable. The certification to the funding body was made on this basis. She stated that where grant review is required for 2022/23, ARA would be able to perform a retrospective review of the uploaded ledger. The Director of Policy and Resources added that since the Cyber Incident, the Council had worked closely with Government, particularly the Department for Levelling Up, Communities and Housing (DLUCH) so that they were aware of their situation.
21.7 The Chair noted that the Council was awarded £57,861 to Protect and Vaccinate and asked why this funding was not used. In response, the Group Manager (ARA) said that a variety of COVID grant funding came at different points of the year. She confirmed that the Protect and Vaccinate grant was allocated for a very specific purpose, that the funding determination was issued on the 31st January 2022 and required expenditure by 31st March 2022.
21.8 The Chair noted that the recommendation outlined in paragraph 2.16(v) of the report which was that Gloucestershire Airport Ltd report the detail of any ... view the full minutes text for item 21