§ Mr. Eggar
asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will list the number of (a) civil servants and (b) secondees, who are engaged in internal audit within his Department and the grades and qualifications of each individual; and to what extent the establishment and work carried out by the unit deviates from the nine primary standards listed in "Government Accounting 9/82."
§ Mr. Ridley
The internal audit branch of the Department of Transport has 26 staff employed on internal audit comprising, one principal, two senior executive officers, nine higher executive officers and 14 executive officers. None has a professional qualification in accountancy or audit but four are studying for the diploma of the Institute of Internal Auditors, five have qualifications in business or public administration and two in systems analysis. There are no secondees. A firm of accountants has recently completed a year's assignment to develop internal audit at the driver and vehicle licensing centre to standards of best practice. This has involved intensive on-the-job training for the 11 members of the branch employed there and the head of internal audit, although it has not led directly to formal qualifications. A further consultancy is to be commissioned to consolidate and develop further expertise in computer audit.
The Department accepts the standards listed in Government "Accounting 9/82" and they provide the framework for the continuing development of the branch under the guidance of the Department's audit committee. The establishment has been increased and now provides for an additional seven posts, which will be filled as soon as possible. The consultancy exercises form a key element of this development and formal training is being actively fostered. The head of internal audit is currently reviewing the audit needs and plans of the Department in relation to the standards with a view to possible regrading and restructuring.