Internal audit - introduction
Internal audits must be carried out by every local government organisation, as stated by Section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972.
Our aim is to give assurance to management and members that certain processes operate in an efficient and effective manner and ensure the integrity of transactions.
The work and performance of the audit service is overseen by the county council's audit committee
Internal audit also has responsibility for investigating possible irregularities. For further information on the council's commitment to fighting fraud, please visit our fraud information website
The audit service provides an independent appraisal to the county council to review its systems of internal control. It is a review activity which does not relieve line management of its responsibility for ensuring that effective systems of control are in place.
The 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 audit service complies with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) code of practice for internal audits in local government and other CIPFA statements.
To objectively assure the county council that:
- its systems of internal control are operating effectively
- its operations are being conducted in accordance with council policy and procedures, current legislation and provide best value
- its assets and interests are accounted for and safeguarded from losses of all kinds, including fraud, waste and inefficiency
The audit service derives its authority from the county council through its constitution. The audit committee
has approved the charter and considers and monitors the annual audit plan.
The audit service has authority to:
- 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 at establishments
- require and receive from employees, members and other persons, assistance or explanation, written or oral
Audit service - responsibilities
In carrying out its role, the audit service will maintain objectivity and display professionalism. It will be tactful and provide advice and assistance where appropriate.
The audit service will maintain a strategic audit plan, which will take account of the audit needs and risks of the council, ensuring they are subject to audit over a five-year period. The audit plan is developed alongside other directorates and stakeholders.
Each year the head of audit and risk management presents the updated strategic plan, along with a detailed plan of activity for the forthcoming year to the audit committee for approval. Progress against the plan will be reported to the audit committee throughout the year.
The head of audit and risk management provides an annual report on internal control systems to the audit committee.
The audit service also reviews systems under development, perform special investigations where necessary and seeks to minimise the potential for fraud and corruption within the county council.
The audit service will work closely with external audit (Deloitte) and other external review agencies, with the aim of co-ordinating, planning and avoiding unnecessary duplication.
Specialist computer audit work is undertaken by a contractor reporting directly to senior management.