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Internal audit of council IT projects and systems described as ‘just a list of words’

Audit Report (Pic: Nick Youngson, CC BY-SA 3.0 Pix4free)

AN INTERNAL audit of various council IT projects and systems has been described as “just a list of words”. 

During the 2023/24 financial year 12 internal audits were carried out examining areas of work of the Shared Resource Service which provides technology services to four Gwent councils, other than Caerphilly, and Gwent Police. 

The service’s annual internal audit report was presented to Monmouthshire County Council’s audit and governance committee, but its usefulness was questioned. 

Independent committee member Martin Veale said he didn’t know what some of the audit assignments related to. 

He told report author Mike Corcoran from Torfaen Borough Council’s audit team: “It’s been a bit of a struggle to understand some things, I’m not clear what ‘Solar Winds’ or ‘Halo’ are. 

“I can’t give it scrutiny and it’s just a lit of words and your opinions.” 

Mr Corocoran quarterly reports as well as individual reports are issued during the year. 

He said areas for audit are agreed with Shared Resource Service and based on risk including the use of council risk registers. 

Of the 12 areas reviewed, three ‘substantial’ and nine ‘full’ audit opinions were generated and Mr Corcoran said the opinion was all identified risks were “medium” or “low” and none were classified as “high risk”. 

He said it should also be recognised areas for improvement will always exist and the expectation is all agreed recommendations will be implemented. 

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The committee’s independent chairman Andrew Blackmore suggested the quarterly reports should be shared with members to build up their understanding of the work undertaken.