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Internal Audit

A brief guide to Internal Audit

Internal audit is provided by a team of officers who give an independent and objective opinion to the Council on the controls in place for systems of governance, risk management and internal control.

Internal audit exists originally under section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972 and subsequently the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 resulting from the requirement for authorities to undertake an effective internal audit to evaluate the effectiveness of its risk management, control and governance processes, taking into account public sector internal auditing standards and guidance.

Internal audit plays a vital part in advising the council that appropriate arrangements are in place and operating properly. It works in partnership with management to improve systems and assist the council in achieving its objectives.

The team works to the "Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS) from 1 April 2013", a detailed guidance document published by CIPFA (Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accountancy) that sets out the definitions and principles [the standards] which establish how a professional internal audit service should operate in the modern local government context. It encompasses areas such as the scope of internal audit, independence, ethics for internal auditors, relationships, audit strategy and planning, performance of auditors etc.

The remit for internal audit officers includes the councils entire control environment and not only covers services provided directly by the council but those delivered through partnership arrangements. Internal auditors have the right of access to all records, assets, personnel and premises, including those of partner organisations, and has authority to obtain such information and explanations as it considers necessary to fulfil its responsibilities.

To enable auditors to perform their duties in a way that allows them to make impartial and effective professional judgements and recommendations, they must be independent of the activities that it audits and therefore they should not have any operational responsibilities.

Internal audit reports directly to the Deputy Chief Executive as necessary with quarterly performance reports to the Resources Board. Strategic plans of audit coverage are established in both a three-year cyclical programme of work and a more detailed annual audit plan.

For more information or a chat please contact Internal Audit on 01827 719249 or email: internalaudit2@northwarks.gov.uk

Last updated Tuesday, 13th October 2015

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