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Transparency of Internal audit

0 votes
My fellow councillors think that the role of our internal auditor is simply to look at our accounts. Each year our clerk reports verbally that the auditor says everything is fine. I'm sceptical because I know that for example, our asset register is not published, tenders for a contract were not received in sealed envelopes and councillors have not seen how our expenditure compares with our budget. I thought also that the auditors report should be published, which is tricky if its verbal. What should I do?
asked by (140 points)

2 Answers

0 votes
Surely the Internal Auditor produces a written report so why not ask for a copy
Most Parish Councils think the Internal Audit gives them a clear bill of health when it’s really a perfunctory check that in my experience serves little or no purpose
answered by (4.4k points)
In my experience external auditors perform what is called a limited assurance audit. In practice it is little more than a procedural tick list. The internal auditor looks moreso at procedures/policies'. I think all concerned need more guidance at precisely what each auditor looks as. IMHO the  electorate has little chance of challenging anything and in reality checks must come from within.  Essentially the power of Councillors is absolute.  As has been said before Councils often appoint "friends" as internal auditors
They are complete and utter nonsense!  I'll be testing the voracity of the external auditor's investigative competence with empirical evidence of a PC knowingly filing a false statement of fact in the coming weeks.
0 votes
The internal  audit criteria and compliance to them as judged by the appointed internal auditor should be published.  As has been remarked, Parish Council Clerks often get another adjacent Clerk to do the audit, and the level of rigour is questionable.   NALC I believe have a recomended checklist which could be used.
answered by (23.7k points)
Thank you for your answers and comments.
My council has never has a written report but I will be asking for one. The internal auditor is a local clerk. Unless I'm given the opportunity to see the report and ask questions, I don't see how I can support a resolution to say yes to some of the assertions in the annual return.
There should be an item on your Agenda to discuss the internal audit report please ref to your Standing orders item 18 - this refers to an annual report from the internal auditor.
Thank you ClerkinEssex.
The agenda has just been sent to councillors but not published on our website. It simply says "To approve the 2020/2021 audited accounts and to sign the Annual Governance Statements". We haven't seen the accounts. I will ask the clerk for the annual report from the internal auditor and refer to our Standing Orders.

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