Constitution - Part 5G - Financial standing orders - FR6 Internal Audit



23.1 The Section 151 Officer is responsible for carrying out a continuous internal audit in line with the Accounts and Audit (England) Regulations from time to time in force. The internal audit section will be independent in its planning and operation. An approved internal audit charter is in place which ensures that the Chief Internal Auditor has direct access to the Chief Executive, all levels of management, and to any Member of Cabinet and the Audit and Assurance Committee. The responsibilities of the Chief Internal Auditor are assigned to the Group Finance Manager -Audit.

23.2 Internal audit staff will conform with the United Kingdom Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS) and associated guidance on PSIAS published by CIPFA.

23.3 All officers and elected Members of the authority are required to co-operate with, and provide all necessary information required by internal audit in order to carry out its role. 

23.4 The Section 151 Officer will ensure that a report on internal audit activity from the Group Finance Manager - Audit  is presented to the Audit and Assurance Committee at agreed intervals reporting on progress in respect of implementation of key audit recommendations.

24.1 The Executive Director - Corporate, Customer and Community Services is responsible for advising on effective corporate governance across the County Council. The Group Finance Manager - Audit is responsible for advising on the effective systems of internal control.

24.2 It is the responsibility of Directors to ensure that internal controls and   governance arrangements are adequate and effective, and to take all necessary action to secure this on an ongoing basis.
24.3 Directors must consult the Section 151 Officer about any proposed changes or developments to financial procedures, records, systems and accounts, and any changes are subject to the Director of Finance (Section 151 Officer's) agreement.

24.4 Directors will consider and respond to recommendations in audit reports within the agreed timeframe, setting out what action is proposed. Audit recommendations will be implemented within the agreed timeframe and Directors are responsible for monitoring and tracking the implementation of internal audit recommendations within their service area and reporting on these in line with the council's performance reporting framework.

24.5 Internal audit will undertake follow up of agreed actions within agreed timescales.  The purpose of this follow up is to provide independent assurance that management actions have been implemented and that controls are working effectively.  This follow up process does not in any way remove management's responsibilities for monitoring and reporting on the implementation of their agreed actions.  Directors will respond to requests for information on the progress against agreed internal audit recommendations within agreed timescales.

Annual governance statement

24.6 At least annually as part of the Governance Statement, Directors will undertake a review of internal control and governance arrangements. The Head of Paid Service and Leader of the Council are responsible for ensuring that an annual governance statement is produced in accordance with the County Council's local code of corporate governance and regulation(s).  The Monitoring Officer is responsible for ensuring that information on governance is accurate and reflects the position at the time of the statement.

24.7 Where it appears that internal control or governance arrangements are not
 operating effectively Directors will notify the Chief Legal Officer immediately.

24.8 The Audit and Assurance Committee will oversee the production of and   approve the County Council's annual governance statement and obtain assurances about performance systems and data quality.