Positive internal audit on roads and bridges welcomed

Highland Council Members have welcomed the substantial assurance given by an internal audit of the Council’s inspection of roads and bridges.

The audit has reviewed the arrangements for inspection of roads and bridges and road structures to ensure that this is being undertaken in accordance with the relevant policy and legislation, and that there is appropriate prioritisation of the necessary maintenance works which operates consistently and effectively across Highland.

The 2016/17 Roads Maintenance Budget agreed at the then Community Services Committee was £11.9m Revenue, and £7.2m Capital and details the allocation to each area. Local committees approve their maintenance programme for within this budget.

This covers winter maintenance; cyclical maintenance; surface dressing and structural road maintenance. The budget allocation takes consideration of road length and population, and for winter maintenance the resources required to deliver the Council’s policy.

Chair of Audit and Scrutiny Councillor Richard Laird said: “This report provides substantial assurance that we can have confidence in our inspection regimes. I am pleased to see that action is being taken to address the improved reporting on programme budget and delivery status.”

Chair of Environment, Development & Infrastructure (formerly “Places”) Committee, Councillor Allan Henderson welcomed the findings. He said: “The maintenance of roads and bridges is a high priority for the Council and an effective inspection regime is a fundamental to this. It is therefore very pleasing to see that this work has achieved a very good audit report, which has highlighted clear methodology and effective arrangements in place. 

“One area identified for improvement was the internal monitoring of the maintenance programme budget and status of projects. We will review how we monitor inspections and Performance Indicators will be developed to monitor improvement in the condition of the road structure asset base following works undertaken.”

28 Sep 2017