Internal auditors during the Bristol City Council are having to fight staff who “push back” within their efforts to scrutinise in which local authority operates.
Local authorities have a statutory duty towards conduct internal audits to assess the best way well they govern themselves in addition to run their operations.
But internal auditors at Bristol City Council have deferred audits at the request of senior film fans and have had their efforts affected by uncooperative managers.
The council’s deputy chief inside auditor, Melanie Henchy-McCarthy, revealed the problems when quizzed by the local authority’s audit committee on Tuesday (May 28).
She said her team produced experienced “some restriction” on the scope of their work during 2018/19.
“Some senior directors did not want us to do a number of audits, ” she explained.
But there were valid reasons for deferring those audits and it hadn’t suffering her team’s ability to form another “evidenced audit opinion”, Ms Henchy-McCarthy said.
That avis was that there has been “minimal improvement along at the control environment” at the council within the last three years, the latest internal audit insider report shows.
“There moves on a need for greater management buy-in to the control environment and the intrinsic audit process, in order to achieve further advancement, ” the report for the time around to March 2019 states.
UK Public Sector Supplied by Audit Standards define the charge environment as “the attitude additionally actions of the board and oversight regarding the importance of control within those organisation”.
Ms Henchy-McCarthy explained that while council directors has seen the value in internal audits, in message was not necessarily “dropping down” to management level.
“So we are still getting break the rules with regard to audits, ” she says.
Internal auditors can do more and better audits if they were not having to waste time negotiating with property managers over getting the necessary information, your woman added.
“We’re not receiving the level of engagement that we need, ” she said. “We’re not getting, certainly, the information that we require at that time.
“We could do more audits if we were not having to extend the best time of audit because of the need to bargain for access and information provision. ”
Ms Henchy-McCarthy said give good results was underway to change managers’ ideas of internal audits as “a positive thing and not a negative thing” but that cultural change seemed to be needed.
“A industrial, independent and objective internal enquête service is one of the key elements of good governance, ” according to UK Public Segment Internal Audit Standards.