Agenda item

Audit & Counter Fraud Update - Q2


The Head of Audit & Counter Fraud Shared Services advised Members that the report at Appendix Two was the second of three updates to be produced during 2019-20; detailing the work undertaken by the Audit & Counter Fraud Team between 01 August to 30 September 2019 and the progress made against the annual workplan.


The Committee was then provided with an overview of key points which could be seen in the executive summary on page 14 of the report and updated key statistics as those in the report were six weeks old: 


  • The report only covered a short period of two months but four reviews were finalised during that period as seen at 2.1 of the report


  • The  revised net loss of 57 days for Gravesham was broken down into the following


-       37 days relating to audit resource

-       20 days relating to fraud resource

-       15 days have already been accounted for by removing  the counter fraud review of Council Tax Reduction,

-       Members will be asked to remove a further review at the February Committee meeting  to account for a further 10 days

-       The remaining 12 days will be made up in other areas of the service 


  • Section 6 showed the performance indicators as of 30 September. Members were given a verbal update for some of the key performance indicators as of 13 November:


-       A&CF10 was 71% for the year to date

-       A&CF11 was 29% for the year to date

-       A&CF12a was now 38% for the year to date

-       A&CF12b was now 8%. for the year to date


  • There were no recommendations still outstanding more than six months after the scheduled implementation date


The Head of Audit & Counter Fraud Shared Services highlighted an error 2.2 of the report; the figure of 43% underway was actually 14%, an error in the performance monitoring formulas was only spotted in the previous week.


The Head of Audit & Counter Fraud Shared Services fielded questions and comments from the Committee:


  • The Refund review was set a budget of ten days as it was seen as an adequate amount of time for the team to review refunds. However it was not taken into consideration how many services refunds occurred in. As a result of so many services being covered, it turned into a much larger audit than anticipated which led to the total of 41.8 days instead of the budgeted 10. Even though the audit activity was larger than anticipated, the actual days used figure was still very high and will be treated as a performance issue. In future the size of the refund audit will be taken into consideration when setting the day allocation.
  • The audit activity on the Apprenticeship Levy hadn’t started yet so the results couldn’t be relayed to the Committee.


The Assistant Director (Corporate Services) expanded on the Apprenticeship Levy; as an authority, Gravesham pay £60,000 per annum into the Levy which amounted to roughly £5000 a month and monitor it regularly. The Levy is held for two years for the authority to draw down from to train apprentices; there were currently 15 apprentices working across the Civic Centre and Brookvale Depot. Additionally, the levy was used to fund the training of existing staff however there was the issue of availability of training schemes as the Levy could only be used to fund accredited training schemes.


The Head of Audit & Counter Fraud Shared Service apologised to the Committee as he and the S.151 at Medway Council had forgotten to email the Chair of the Finance & Audit Committee to ask for his comments on A&CF Performance Measure 23 ‘Members satisfaction with assurance provided’ in time for the mid-year appraisal. The Committee was assured the Chairs comments had now been received and would be included in the next Audit & Counter Fraud update report.


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