Agenda item

Audit & Counter Fraud Update - Q3 2018-19


Members were provided with an update on the work, outputs and performance of the Audit & Counter Fraud Team for the period 1 October 2018 to 31 December 2018.


The Head of Audit & Counter Fraud Shared Services advised that: 


  • The level of resources available had been affected due to staff sickness, an unexpected vacancy earlier in the year and the fact that one Audit & Counter Fraud Officer took flexible retirement from 01 September 2018. Due to those reasons the forecasted net loss to date was approximately 75 days from the original resource budget of 660 days for Gravesham and an overall service loss of 210 days. It’s lower than the projection reported in September as no officers are signed up to any professional qualifications training, so the training allowances were removed from consideration
  • There is currently one full time vacancy in the service created by the three part time officers and the plan is to recruit to that post from 1st April or very soon after
  • The Work Plan had progressed well and is provided in section 4 of the report. There were four reviews finalised during the reporting period
  • An update against key performance indicators was provided at section 5 of the repot, the outturns provided were as at 31 December 2018. To date, Members were informed of the current position for the key indicators listed in the report:


-       AF&CF10 – 63%

-       AF&CF11 – 37%

-       AF&CF12a – 57%

-       AF&CF12b – 35% 


  • Section 6 of the report set out the review of the plan to take into account the loss of resources, Members agreed a number of them at the meeting in November but the service requested an additional amendment to address the gap that remains
  • Section 7 of the report gave an update on all the recommendations; the two recommendations that were outstanding at the November 2018 meeting relating to Planning and Homeless had both been dealt with by 31 December 2018 as promised by the Director (Housing & Regeneration)


Concern was raised by Members that only 7.3 days had been spent on Business Continuity as opposed to the Market which had 13.9 days spent on it which was almost four days over the budget; it was reflected that the Market is very often empty and Business Continuity was a major issue which should have been a more significant priority with a higher number of days spent on it. 


The Head of Audit and Counter Fraud Shared Services advised that it was hard to pinpoint the exact reasons for that anomaly without looking back and checking who did the work and what information was available at that time. It was agreed that the Head of Audit and Counter Fraud Shared Services would review the previous work and circulate an answer to Members concerns outside of the meeting.


Further concern was raised by a Member regarding an article in the messenger which spoke of alleged audit issues with the commercial group that provides a CCTV service to the partnership that Gravesham is part of.  After a brief discussion, the Director (Corporate Services) stated that it was a very sensitive issue which officers had been dealing with privately over the previous 24 hours; Members were advised that they would be given a full update on the issue as soon as it was available. 


The Assistant Director (Corporate Services) alerted Members that the Committee is not appropriate for further discussion at that moment in time as not enough information was allowed to be shared yet and the responsibility for that service fell under the Director (Communities). If a serious issue was needed to be dealt with regarding the CCTV service then the Director (Communities) would discuss it with the Portfolio Holder and take it through Cabinet.


Resolved that Members:


1.         Noted the outputs and performance of the Audit & Counter Fraud Plan for Gravesham for the period 1 October 2018 to 31 December 2018 as detailed at Appendix 2.


2.         Approved the amendment to the 2018-19 Audit & Counter Fraud Workplan as outlined in section 6 of the report at Appendix 2.



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