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Agenda item

Internal Audit 2021-22 (Part 2)

To receive a report outlining the scope of recommended audits to the Committee which could be commissioned by the Committee.


Richard Bullen, Fund Governance and Performance Manager, presented a report that outlined the scope of the recommended auditing proposals to the WPFC, for inclusion in the Fund’s audit plan for 2021-22.


It was explained by officers that the established procedure was to put forward proposals that members could consider as WPFC recommendations for next year’s commissioning of audits; internal, external and self-assessments, with the primary purpose intended to retain consistency but to also challenge the Fund with new or topical items such as MiFID II. The Chairman requested an update on the recommendations made to the WPFC at the last Board meeting on 6 August 2020 concerning the inclusion into the 2021-22 audits of a review into the Brunel cost savings. It was confirmed by officers that the request had been considered and agreed upon and would be recommended to the WPFC. Officer also confirmed that the goal was to challenge the Fund with regard to i-Connect, GDPR and access controls and so forth in order to provide a complete scope of audit challenges and changes.


The Vice-Chairman highlighted the last sentence of Section 4 of the report concerning the request by the Fund of SWAP audits from other service areas within Wiltshire Council, and asked whether these requests would be for information only. Officers responded and informed members that this would be for key audits pertinent to the Fund, such as Wiltshire Council’s ICT systems audits following on from the cyber security item discussed at the last meeting of the Board. It was noted that any payroll audit reports could be beneficial for members to provide some oversight on how sizeable services that the Fund shares with the Council operate. Members noted that this could be advantageous for Fund officers in the event that the recommendations would adversely affect the Fund. After deliberations by members and subject to the respect for Council protocols, it was agreed that officers could request copies of the reports on behalf of the Fund.


The Chairman made a recommendation to the WPFC that Fund officers had sight of key financial systems reports for information, unless there were concerns, in which case the reports would be brought forth before the Board.


Cllr Richard Britton highlighted the update on Paragraph 6 of the report concerning the outstanding external audit of the 2018-19 Wiltshire Council accounts. It was noted that a lot of work had been undertaken but a satisfactory conclusion had not been found, and a decision had been taken between the Audit Committee (AC) and Deliotte to sign off the accounts at the AC November 2020 meeting leading to a qualification by the auditors. The Chairman noted the consideration written in the report by officers and proposed that the first recommendation be amended to include that if the AC does not approve the accounts at their November 2020 meeting then the Board would require a written explanation, but only if they are not signed off.


Newer members of the Board asked for a brief explanation of what the technical issues were in regard to the delayed sign off of the 2018-19 accounts to which Cllr Richard Britton and Jennifer Devine clarified that it was not related to the Pension Fund’s accounts but solely with the main Council’s accounts and that a separate audit could not be undertaken for the Fund’s accounts. It was noted that the issue was as a result of the historical valuation of the Council’s assets and the basis on which those valuations were completed. Officers noted that they had requested that a written explanation be included with the Annual Report & Accounts to clarify that the issue was not part of the Pension Fund’s accounts.


The third recommendation concerning an officer self-assessment against tPR Code of Practice 14 was raised and members were asked if they wanted to proceed. The Chairman asked whether the report of the self-assessments would be brought forth to the Board and WPFC, to which officers confirmed that it would be. The Chairman then noted that if the self-assessment reports were to be brought forward then he felt that the third recommendation for approval did not seem appropriate. Therefore, it was agreed by members to remove this recommendation and to consider it once the self-assessment reports had been reviewed by the Board.




1)    The Board recommended that in the event that the Audit Committee approved the signing off of the qualified 2018-19 Annual Report & Accounts, no further action was required. However, if the sign off did not take place, then the Pension Fund Committee should request a written report outlining a resolution from the Audit Committee. This also included the 2019-20 accounts.

2)    The Board recommended that the Committee approved the scope of the internal SWAP audits in 2021-22, covering the Fund’s Pension Transfer arrangements, its internal financial controls, data Protection Act 2018/GDPR compliance and Brunel cost savings.

3)    The Board recommended that Fund officers request sight of SWAP Internal Audit reports from other key services areas, subject to the adherence of Wiltshire Council protocols. Such reports should be provided to the Board and Committee to fulfil their oversight functions.


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