Agenda item

Agenda item

Annual Internal Audit Plan 2022/23

The report of the Head of Audit and Risk Management is enclosed.


The Committee considered a report of The Head of Audit and Risk Management which in line with Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS) and a Local Government Application Note from the Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accountancy presented a risk-based plan of Internal Audit activity that is designed to support an annual opinion on the effectiveness of the systems of governance, risk management and internal control. The Head of Internal Audit and Risk Management is required to communicate internal audit plans and resource requirements, including significant interim changes, to Strategic Management Team and the Audit Committee for review and approval. The audit plan for 2022/23 set out areas of proposed audit coverage for the year and the delivery of this plan would be reported to SMT and Audit Committee as part of regular audit reporting.


The report set out information about


  • Basis for the Plan
  • Characteristics of the Audit Plan, including its Context, Timeframe and Structure
  • Resourcing of the Plan; and
  • Planned Areas of Focus


The key points of discussion in the meeting were:


  • The length of time taken to implement the service restructure
  • Resourcing and capacity within the team to deliver
  • The classification of risk within the Corporate Risk Register
  • Staff welfare and wellbeing, noting the impact of the pandemic and other workforce developments


With regard to the time taken to implement the service restructure, the Head of Audit and Risk Management spoke about the complexities about health and safety aspects of the service review which had caused unavoidable delays. In terms of timescales, consultation with staff was expected to commence in early June following which appointments to posts could be made and recruitment progressed to fill vacancies in the new roles expected in July 2022.


There was a discussion about capacity to deliver more complex areas of audit activity once COVID grant related work had ceased. Members commented that they were keen to see those vacancies filled and sought assurance that there was adequate capacity to deliver the comprehensive range of audits scheduled for completion this year with sufficient flexibility to respond to currently unplanned work. The Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer said that COVID grant related work and more recent government schemes would remain a feature of audit activity as part of a planned lengthy programme of work. Therefore efforts had been made to ensure that there was sufficient capacity with the service to complete this work alongside the programme of scheduled work as part of the Audit Plan. The Head of Audit and Risk Management added that the Plan had been developed based on current staffing levels therefore allowing an element of capacity to respond to risks that could emerge during the year.


There was a discussion about the classification of risk within the Corporate Risk Register, with particular reference to the rating allocated for ‘housing needs not being met’ (defined as medium risk). The Head of Audit and Risk Management described  the process involved for consideration of the Register with the Senior Management Team, adding that a discussion had taken place around that particular definition, which had recently been broadened from the narrower definition of access to affordable  housing. A further meeting was therefore planned with the Strategic Director of Development to explore whether it current rating required an amendment.


With reference to the report’s mention of staff training and development, a member acknowledged the increasing demands on staff (particularly in response to the pandemic) and stressed the importance of staff welfare.  In response the Deputy Chief Executive and City Treasurer spoke about the dedication and commitment she had witnessed across the workforce to provide the best possible service to Manchester residents during the significant challenge presented by the pandemic. She said that the importance of staff welfare had been discussed at length at a recent Senior Management Team meeting which touched on challenges around competing workforce development priorities as well as recruitment. Actions were being undertaken to ensure that established measures such as staff surveys and the Council’s Wellbeing Strategy were well communicated and the importance of the role of managers (with particular reference to responding to signs of stress) were referred to as examples of the types of support available.




To endorse the Annual Internal Audit Plan for 2022/23.


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