Housing benefit procedures given ‘high assurance’ rating

Date published: 16 October 2020
John McNeill and guildhall

Auditors have said they have a ‘high level of confidence’ in West Lindsey District Council’s housing benefit procedures.

Assurance Lincolnshire awarded the highest assurance opinion following an internal audit into housing benefit procedures by checking that all processes were carried out in accordance with current legislation and regulations.

Cllr John McNeill, Chairman of the Governance and Audit Committee at the Council has welcomed the news.

He said: “Administering accurate and secure housing benefit payments to residents in West Lindsey is a key priority for us. One of our Council values is about putting the Customer First and that means paying the right benefit to the right person, every time. We pride ourselves on delivering prompt, accurate and secure payments and advice to our customers and this audit opinion reflects that we are on the right track.

“We actively encourage and welcome audits on our services to ensure we have robust procedures in place and that we achieve our objectives and continue to drive service improvements.”

Inspectors examined 27 cases between June and September 2020 as part of the work undertaken to support the subsidy claim, in respect of payments made in the 2019/20 financial year. 

They gave a ‘high assurance’ opinion on its procedures and highlighted that there are appropriate quality control checks in place to ensure that claims are processed correctly as well as identifying any errors that may occur.

The findings have been published in a report and was presented to the Governance and Audit Committee at the Council on Monday 5, October.

The Governance and Audit Committee is responsible for the internal audit programme, which changes each year. Internal audits are carried out regularly at the council which is important to ensure we continuously review our governance procedures.

The report is one of three internal audits carried out during the same period into practices and progress at West Lindsey, with the other two reports reviewing food safety, environmental protection and enforcement practices and Key Controls Testing and Creditors, which were awarded High Assurance and Substantial Assurance respectively.

See the full report here.

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