1 Audit Committee
Composition: Seven Councillors in political balance. Chair appointed by Council annually.
The Chair and Vice Chair must not be a member of the Cabinet or an Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
The Committee has the right of access to all the information it considers necessary in connection with the work of the Committee and may consult directly with Internal and External Auditors.
Terms of Reference
1.1 To approve a Statement of Purpose for the Audit Committee having regard to best practice including any Codes published by CIPFA and SOLACE.
1.2 To ensure that the Council has a sound system of internal control which —
(a) facilitates the effective exercise of its functions and the achievement of its aims and objectives;
(b) ensures that the financial and operational management of the Council is effective; and
(c) includes effective arrangements for the management of risk.
1.3 To monitor arrangements for discharging the Council’s responsibilities for efficient and effective financial and operational resource management. In pursuing this aim, it will consider:-
(a) the soundness, adequacy and application of controls;
(b) compliance with policies, procedures and statutory requirements;
(c) arrangements for safeguarding the Council’s assets and interests;
(d) the integrity and reliability of management information and financial records; and
(e) the economic, efficient and effective use of resources.
1.4 To manage, steer, monitor and review all matters relating to Internal and External Audit; to approve Internal and External Audit plans; and to receive the Internal Audit Annual Report.
1.5 To receive and consider all scheduled outputs from the External Auditor’s work, including the annual Audit Letter.
1.6 To consider periodically (at least annually) whether the Auditors appointed to carry out the External Audit function remain independent and objective and, that their judgement in carrying out that role has not been impaired as a consequence of their participation in any non-audit reviews, services or advice provided to the Council.
1.7 To receive and review the findings of both Internal and External Audit examinations; ensure that management takes appropriate action to implement agreed recommendations; and remedy any internal accounting, organisational or operational control weaknesses identified.
1.8 To review the effectiveness of the systems of internal control annually and approve the Annual Control Assurance Statement and the Annual Governance Statement.
1.9 To review compliance with public sector financial and audit standards and guidance, in accordance with the CIPFA Codes and the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015.
1.10 To review and comment upon liaison arrangements between Internal and External Audit with a view to optimising the effective deployment of audit resources.
1.11 To evaluate the adequacy and effectiveness of the Council’s financial and operational policies and procedures including financial and accounting management and the management of risk through discussions with the External Auditors, Internal Auditors and appropriate Officers.
1.12 To consider and endorse amendments to the Council’s Financial Regulations and Contract Procedure Rules and, on behalf of Full Council, give instructions to the Chief Finance Officer as may be appropriate.
1.13 To approve the Annual Statement of Accounts.
1.14 To prepare an Annual Report to Full Council setting out the Committee’s work and performance during the year and to refer to Council any matters it shall see fit.
1.15 To review any issue referred to it by the Chief Executive, Chief Finance Officer, Monitoring Officer or any Council body.
1.16 To consider reports from and matters raised by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman.
1.17 With the Monitoring Officer to monitor and review the operation of the Constitution to ensure the aims and principles of the Constitution are given full effect.
1.18 To undertake an annual review of the Council’s use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA), ensuring compliance with the relevant Codes of Practice.
1.19 With the exception of those parts of the Constitution which are assigned specifically to the Council Business Committee, to consider and propose to Council any other amendments to the Constitution as necessary.
1.20 To appoint an Audit Panel to make arrangements relating to the appointment of the Council’s External Auditor under the provisions of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, unless the External Auditor is appointed through Public Sector Audit and Accounts Ltd.
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Phone: 01524 582132