Internal audits must be carried out by every local government organisation, as stated by Section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972. Internal Audit is primarily a statutory service. This is through risk-based audit and assurance work that gives independent and objective opinions on how the council operates.
The areas assessed include:
- corporate governance arrangements
- financial governance and systems
- risk management
- corporate performance
- information governance and ICT
- asset management
- people management
- commissioning, procurement and contract management
- programme and project management
Audit work is undertaken within and across directorates and the Head of Internal Audit has a direct reporting line to the Corporate Leadership Team in order to satisfy accountability to key stakeholders. The work and performance of the Internal Audit Service is overseen by the County Council's Audit Committee.
The Head of Internal Audit has direct access and freedom to report in his own name and without fear or favour to all officers and members.
Internal Audit Service
The Internal Audit Service provides an independent appraisal to the County Council on its system of internal control. It is a review activity that does not relieve management of its responsibility for ensuring that effective systems of control are in place.
The Internal Audit Service fulfils this role by carrying out independent reviews of the County Council's activities and reporting its findings to those who need to know and can ensure appropriate action is taken.
In carrying out this role, the Internal Audit Service complies with the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS).
Internal Audit objectives
To assure the county council that its:
- systems of internal control are operating effectively;
- operations are being conducted in accordance with Council policy and procedures, current legislation and provide best value; and
- assets and interests are accounted for and safeguarded from losses of all kinds, including fraud, waste and inefficiency.
Internal Audit authority
The Internal Audit Service derives its authority from the county council through its constitution. The purpose, authority and responsibility of the internal audit activity is formally defined in the internal audit charter (PDF, 71KB), which is approved by the Audit Committee (who also considers and monitors the Internal Audit Planning Process).
The Internal Audit Service has authority to:
- carry out internal audit work on any county council activity;
- visit any county council establishment at any time;
- have access to all documents, correspondence and other records;
- have access to all stocks and cash held; and
- require, and receive from, employees, councillors and other persons, assistance or explanation, written or oral.
Internal Audit responsibilities
In carrying out its role, the Internal Audit Service will maintain objectivity and display professionalism. It will be tactful and provide advice and assistance where appropriate.
The Internal Audit Service plans its work, considering the audit needs and risks of the council.
Each year, the Head of Internal Audit presents the planning process and key themes to the Audit committee for approval. The Audit Committee also receives periodic update reports on the outcomes of Internal Audit work and other assurance activities. The Head of Internal Audit provides an annual report on internal control systems to the Audit committee.
The Internal Audit Service also:
- reviews systems under development
- perform special investigations where necessary
- has responsibility for investigating possible irregularities. Learn more about our commitment to fighting fraud and how to report fraud.
- works closely with external audit and other external review agencies, with the aim of coordinating, planning and avoiding unnecessary duplication.
Internal Audit contacts
Peter Frost, Head of Internal Audit
01473 264247, firstname.lastname@example.org
Christos Constantinou, Lead on Counter-Fraud
01473 265887, email@example.com
General enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
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