An exclusive preview of one of the articles in this month’s magazine.
Coming soon: “Running rings around risk”
“I joined LOCOG when it was still a fairly small organisation of about 350 people,” Hardy recalls. “There hadn’t been much internal audit work done because there wasn’t much to audit. My first task was to write an audit plan for the lifetime of the games, from 1 April 2010 to the end of 2012. My colleague at KPMG and I tackled this in a fairly traditional way. There was only a skeleton risk management process in place at the time, as it was such a small organisation, so we based our plan on business strategies that were being updated, discussions with senior management and our own expertise.”
One of the main risks that LOCOG has to control is combating fraud. While counterfeit tickets and fake merchandise are dealt with by a separate brand protection team in the legal function, which works with the Metropolitan Police’s Operation Podium, corporate fraud falls within Hardy’s remit.
“We can’t afford to lose money through fraudulent activities,” she says. “That’s why, right from the outset, we put in place ethical compliance policies, speak-up procedures and confidential hotlines. Everyone who works for LOCOG also has to pass an e-module on ethical compliance as part of their induction process and then must refresh that every 12 months.”
LOCOG has run fraud awareness workshops in association with Operation Podium for new recruits in key departments such as procurement and HR. The finance team has also attended fraud workshops run by the Bank of England.
Looking back at the original audit plan, Hardy is satisfied that her team got the scope right. “While the way that we have delivered audits has changed quite a bit since the start, the content of that plan has altered very little, aside from a few tweaks as LOCOG has evolved.”
Want to find out more?
Look out for the full feature, “Running rings around risk”, in the next issue of Audit & Risk.