South East Training - Business Process Auditing Toolkit

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Summary Statements

The summary statement is prepared for presentation at the closing meeting and provides an overview of the audit and its findings.  The statement is normally read out prior to presentation of the observation statements.  However, some auditors prefer to present this afterwards as it helps move the meeting to a conclusion.  Whilst the auditors do not change the wording of the observation statements for inclusion in the audit report, it is permissable to alter the text of the summary statement as long as this does affect the overall conclusion. 

An Example Summary Statement

 Example Summary Statement

The audit was conducted as part of a planned programme of process audits designed to provide senior management with information about the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of core business processes essential to Brigade performance and to support the Brigade's Performance and Review Team in their preparation of Best Value Performance Plans.

This audit, conducted between 10-14 November 2XXX, investigated three processes with the purpose of evaluating their compliance with existing procedures and regulations, and evaluate their economy, efficiency and effectiveness against defined audit criteria included within both internally and externally published Brigade documents.

The processes evaluated were:

  1. Planned and routine maintenance of fire appliances
  2. The procurement of capital equipment
  3. The management of major contracts

The auditors made 14 observation, 3 of which were regarded as major.

The auditors concluded that, in general, adequate controls were in place to ensure the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of both the maintenance function and the capital procurement process. The 8 minor observations raised in these areas dealt mainly with deviation from documented procedures and, in some cases, the absence of appropriate documentation. Despite these deficiencies, staff interviewed seemed aware of process requirements and performance in all areas met or exceeded targets. It is noted that the Brigade Management System is in the process of being rewritten and that some of the deficiencies may be addressed by the revision.

Review of the management of major contracts gave rise to 3 major and 3 minor observations. The 3 major observations relate to:

  1. A failure to communicate requirements effectively to contractors
  2. A failure to monitor contractor performance standards adequately
  3. A failure to progress corrective actions in a timely fashion resulting in unacceptable delays and overspend.

The 3 minor deficiencies relate to inaccuracies and omissions in the process relating to the recording of contractor competences and certification.

Urgent action is required to correct the deficiencies identified in this area and their consequences. Further, system controls need to be updated and implemented to ensure that similar deficiencies are prevented from occurring in future.

The audit team would like to thank all the managers and staff involved in the audit for their willingness to assist throughout.

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