COUNCILLORS have called for a greater focus into the authority’s practises after it emerged that a number of issues causing concern at the council had “not been addressed”.

Officers reviewed a number of areas in the council from April to December 2018 and a report outlined that a dozen assessments showed “major issues” in the authority’s cyber-security, its debt management and its social media protocol.

Sally Hendrick, a Bracknell Forest Council (BFC) officer, told members: “There are quite a high number of limited assurance reports here compared to last year.

“We have gone back to revisit (some of the reports) and found that the issues have not been addressed.”

Problems surrounding the way officers expenses were submitted have needed to be reassessed after worries remained, while a number of other previously tested areas have been judged to need close attention too.

The council has discovered there are problems with how it operates in its social care pathway provision, its officers’ expenses, absence management, its IT asset management, its residential care contracts, its housing rents and deposits and areas of its Public Health service.

Councillor Nick Allen (Conservative) said he was “concerned” at the number of limited assurances in the report, and asked if the worries had been caused by a “general theme” or by the council’s transformation savings project.

The officer replied that it could have been a “mix of both” but added: “We always have a number of new officers and their understanding of the issues we had identified is not as good as it could be compared to somebody who has been here a bit longer.”

Councillors heard why a number of issues were causing concern, including an issue with the paper trail of recording officers’ expenses claims which has been an ongoing worry for the authority.

Cllr Clifton Thompson said: “Things are not as good as they should be – we need to get on top of this.”

However, a number of issues given a limited assurance status were not explained and Cllr Allen suggested demanding officers in charge of these areas be present at the governance and audit’s committee next meeting in order to clear up why any problems were still occurring.

Despite this, Cllr Peter Heydon claimed his fellow councillors were “looking at the stones when we need to be looking at the rocks” and officers pointed out that Cllr Allen’s proposal would mean a lot of people being present next time.

Instead, councillors voted to see a report which outlined each issue causing concern at their next meeting, with officers only being invited upon request.

Councillors discussed the authority’s internal audit at a meeting on Wednesday, January 30.