Final Internal Audit Annual Report for financial year 2021/22 presented to members

Members of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee who met today (Wednesday, 28 September) have been presented with a report summarising the annual Internal Audit opinion for the period 1st April 2021 to 31st March 2022.

This annual report is a requirement of the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards, under which the organisation’s report must conclude on the overall adequacy and effectiveness of the organisation’s framework of governance, risk management and control.

In addition, the annual report must incorporate:

•  The audit opinion;

•  The summary of work that supports that opinion; and

•  A statement on conformance with the Standards and the results of the quality assurance and improvement programme.

The report illustrates that 12 internal audit reviews were conducted during the 2021/22 financial year, three of which attracted an audit opinion of Full Assurance and with a further five achieving Substantial Assurance.

Full Assurance is defined as having a sound system of control designed to achieve the system objectives and the controls are being consistently applied.

Substantial Assurance highlights that while there is a generally a sound system, there are minor areas of weakness which put some of the system objectives at risk, and/or there is evidence that the level of non-compliance with some of the controls may put some of the system objectives at risk.

Councillor Trish Robertson, Chair of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee, said:  “Today’s report demonstrates that a power of work has been undertaken by our Internal Audit Team during the last financial year, 2021/22.”

“I am encouraged by the proportion of reviews (66%) which have received an audit opinion of either Full Assurance or Substantial Assurance, demonstrating the good practice and safeguards which have been established and implemented throughout the organisation.”

“A further positive in the report to Committee members also highlights that Highland Council fully conforms with all of the assessment areas set out in the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards, which include:  Code of Ethics; Independence and Objectivity; Proficiency and Due Professional Care; and Engagement Planning.”


28 Sep 2022