The internal audit plan for 2022-23 was noted by the JAC in September 2022. Such noting was delayed awaiting the appointment of Internal Auditors following a competitive retendering process. Following the re-appointment of RSM, they produced the relevant audit plan covered both the strategy for internal audit for 2022 to 2025 together with the 22/23 plan. This allowed for flexibility to meet the needs of both organisations and of the JAC.
As at the March JAC 4 final and 1 draft report were received during the year, 7 audits were in progress or to be started, with no final reports resulting in a negative opinion. Action on the implementation of agreed audit recommendations was reported regularly to the JAC by the Force. The JAC continues to monitor the implementation of outstanding audit recommendations.
During 2021-22, the PCC and the CC with the support of the JAC opted into the PSAA (Public Sector Audit Appointments) scheme for 2023-24. In addition, EY (Ernst & Young) Associate Partner and Audit Manager both became “time-expired” in March 2022 after valued service to the PCC, CC and the JAC. They have now been replaced by new personnel with whom a trusted and valued relationship is being developed.
The JAC has engaged with the External Auditors throughout the financial year, noting the new national audit arrangements for considering the arrangements for financial sustainability, governance and improving economy, efficiency and effectiveness.
The JAC considers that the weakness previously identified by the External Auditors followed the resignation of the former Force CFO has been adequately addressed and such a situation will not be repeated in future years. The JAC asked the Internal Auditors to re-conduct the Medium-Term Financial Plan audit which has provided substantial assurance on this matter.