Committee details

Audit and Standards Committee

Purpose of committee

At the meeting of Council on 21 May 2019, Members approved that the Audit and Standards Committee be established to replace the existing Audit Committee and Standards Committee.

 

FUNCTIONS OF THE AUDIT COMMITTEE

 

 

1.

Governance, Risk and Control

 

 

·         

To review the Council’s corporate governance arrangements against the good governance framework and consider annual governance reports and assurances.

 

 

·         

To consider the Council’s Annual Governance Statement and to recommend its adoption to Cabinet Executive.

 

 

·         

To consider the Council’s framework of assurance and ensure that it adequately addresses the risks and priorities of the Council.

 

 

·         

To consider the Council’s arrangements to secure value for money and review assurances and assessments on the effectiveness of these arrangements.

 

 

·         

To consider reports on the effectiveness of internal controls and monitor the implementation of agreed actions.

 

 

·         

To maintain an overview of the Whistleblowing Policy and Procedure (Raising Concerns).

 

 

·         

To maintain an overview of the Council’s Constitution in respect of contract regulations and financial regulations.

 

 

·         

To monitor the effective development and operation of risk management in the Council.

 

 

·         

To monitor progress in addressing risk-related issues reported to the Committee.

 

 

·         

To review the assessment of fraud risks and potential harm to the Council from fraud and corruption.

 

 

·         

To monitor the Anti-fraud & Corruption Policy, and the counter-fraud strategy, actions and resources.

 

 

2.

Internal Audit

 

 

·         

To approve the Internal Audit Charter.

 

 

·         

To consider the Head of Internal Audit’s annual report and opinion, and a summary of internal audit activity (actual and proposed) and the level of assurance it can give over the Council’s corporate governance arrangements and to consider quarterly and other reports in relation to the same. These will include:

 

a.     Updates on the work of internal audit including key findings, issues of concern and action in hand as a result of internal audit work

b.     Regular reports on the results of the Quality Assurance and Improvement Programme

c.      Reports on instances where the internal audit function does not conform to the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards and Local Government Application Note, considering whether the non-conformance is significant enough that it must be included in the Annual Governance Statement

 

 

·         

To consider summaries of specific Internal Audit reports as appropriate.

 

 

·         

To consider reports from Internal Audit on agreed recommendations not implemented within a reasonable timescale.

 

 

·         

To receive reports outlining the action taken where the Head of Internal Audit has concluded that management has accepted a level of risk that may be unacceptable to the authority or there are concerns about progress with the implementation of agreed actions.

 

 

·         

To receive an independent report from the Head of Internal Audit on matters of a serious nature which cannot be dealt with via normal procedures.

 

 

·         

To contribute to the Quality Assurance and Improvement Programme and in particular, to the external quality assessment of internal audit that takes place at least once every five years. 

 

 

·         

To consider a report on the effectiveness of internal audit to support the Annual Governance Statement, where required to do so by the Accounts and Audit Regulations.

 

 

3.

External Audit

 

 

·         

To consider the external auditor’s annual letter, relevant reports and the report to those charged with governance.

 

 

·         

To consider specific reports as agreed with the external auditor.

 

 

·         

To comment on the scope and depth of external audit work and to ensure it gives value for money.

 

 

·         

To commission work from internal and external audit.

 

 

·         

To advise and recommend on the effectiveness of relationships between external and internal audit and other inspection agencies or relevant bodies.

 

 

·         

To consider the external auditor’s Annual Audit and Inspection letter, any other external audit and investigation reports, subsequent action plans and monitoring arrangements, relevant reports, and any reports relating to issues of governance falling within the remit of this Committee to ensure that the Council has responded appropriately and that the Committee are satisfied with the internal control framework.

 

 

4.

Financial Reporting

 

 

·         

To review  & approve the annual statement of accounts.  Specifically, to consider whether appropriate accounting policies have been followed and whether there are concerns arising from the financial statements or from the audit that need to be brought to the attention of the Council.

 

 

·         

To consider the external auditor’s report to those charged with governance on issues arising from the audit of the accounts.

 

 

 

5.

 

 Accountability Arrangements

 

 

·         

To report to those charged with governance on the committee’s findings, conclusions and recommendations concerning the adequacy and effectiveness of their governance, risk management and internal control frameworks; financial reporting arrangements, and internal and external audit functions.

 

 

·         

To report to full Council on a regular basis on the Committee’s performance in relation to the terms of reference and the effectiveness of the Committee in meeting its purpose.

 

 

·         

That Members of the Audit Committee complete annually CIPFA’s Self Assessment of Good Practice and the Knowledge and Skills Framework, to inform future development of the Committee.

 

 

FUNCTIONS OF THE STANDARDS COMMITTEE

 

 

 

 

Responsibility pursuant to Article 9 of the Constitution:-

 

 

1

To discharge the functions conferred by Part III of the Local Government Act 2000, as amended by the Localism Act 2011.

 

 

2

To promote and maintain high standards of conduct by Councillors.

 

 

3

To advise the Council on the adoption of a local code of conduct for Members.

 

 

4

To advise the Council on the adoption of a local code of conduct for employees including arrangements for monitoring and updating as required.

 

 

5

To advise the Council on ethical governance, including the adoption of local codes and/or protocols and/or policies in relation to ethical standards (including ‘whistle blowing’).

 

 

6

To adopt relevant policies and procedures.

 

 

7

To consider reports from the Monitoring Officer on material breaches of local codes and/or protocols in relation to member conduct not falling within the Code of Conduct.

 

 

8

To consider and report to the Council on breaches of Council Codes and Protocols by Members, as the Committee considers appropriate.

 

 

9

To advise, train or arrange to train Members and co-opted Members of the authority on matters relating to the authority’s code of conduct.

 

 

10

To monitor the operation of the Members’ Code of Conduct and assisting Members and co-opted Members to observe it.

 

 

11

To review significant changes to the Constitution, as determined by the Proper Officer;

 

 

 

N.B.  The Standards Committee has no powers to intervene in any employee issues falling within the Council’s Disciplinary Procedure and/or the Grievance Procedure.

 

 

 

 

Membership

Contact information

Support officer: Jessica Hammond. 0116 272 7638