Agenda item

ISA 260 Report 2013-14 (including Members' Expenses)

Minutes:

ACARAC (24) ISA 260 Report from WAO

5.1        Mark Jones presented the International Standard on Auditing (ISA) 260.  He confirmed that they had received all of the documents from the Assembly Commission on time and thanked Nicola’s team for their assistance.  He informed the Committee that the accounts were unbiased, fair and clear.  The main point he highlighted was the HR Payroll project. 

5.2        Further to the audit of the data migration for the HR Payroll project in June, the report recommended a full scope audit into the functionality of the system and the management of the project in general.  This project would also be highlighted in the Management Letter.

5.3        Mark then went on to discuss their review of Assembly Members’ expenses. Of the sample of 13, all results were satisfactory, bar one.  The documentation to process one claim was received by Members’ Business Support (MBS), but the declaration form to accompany the claim had not been signed by the Assembly Member.

5.4        Officials stressed that this was not inappropriate expenditure as the invoice was produced, and Nicola assured the Committee that the MBS team were aware of this anomaly and was assured that these checks would be completed in future.

5.5        Claire expressed her disappointment that the Management Letter would include these critical points, especially considering the excellent report the Assembly received last year.  She would continue to urge officials to raise their standards, with the aim of receiving a clean Management Letter next year.   

5.6        Claire reiterated that the HR Payroll project had not been managed to an acceptable standard, and informed the Committee that Gareth was responsible for leading a full scope audit and that he and Dave Tosh would identify an independent project/programme management expert to undertake this.  The audit would take place over the summer recess with a report being presented to the Committee in November.

5.7        Committee members questioned a specific reference made in the report that ‘no further fees should be paid’ to the supplier.  Mark urged officials to ensure that there was a full understanding of what was being paid for, before committing any further expenditure.  It was acknowledged that further payments during the financial year could potentially be made but only if the Commission were satisfied with progress on functionality.

5.8        The Chair commented that, overall, the ISA 260 was reassuring and welcomed the planned audit of the HR Payroll project, especially when the Committee had been briefed on two contrasting projects over the past few months, namely the Future ICT Transition project and the HR Payroll project.  On the audit of Assembly Members’ allowances, he accepted that the one claim which had not been signed was due to a process error rather than it being an inappropriate claim.  

5.9        He thanked the Assembly officials and the WAO staff for their work and contribution to the meeting. The Committee concluded by recommending to the Accounting Officer that the accounts could be signed.

          Actions

-                   Gareth and Dave to engage an external expert to review the HR Payroll project.