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Audit Committee

Terms of Reference

Approved by the Board 1 April 2008

1. Membership
1.1 The Committee shall be appointed by the Board from amongst the Non-Executive Members of the Authority excluding the Chairman of the Board and shall consist of not less than 3 members.  A quorum shall be 2 members.
1.2 The Chairman of the Committee shall be appointed by the Board.
   
2 Attendance at Meetings
2.1 The Chief Executive, Chief Financial Officer and a representative of the external auditors shall normally attend meetings.  However, at least once a year the Committee shall meet with the external auditors without any Officers of the Authority present.  Equally it may meet with executive management without the Auditors present.
   
3 Authority
3.1 The Committee is authorised by the Board to investigate any activity within its terms of reference.  It is authorised to seek any information it requires from any employee and all employees are to co-operate directly with any request made by the Committee.
3.2 The Committee is authorised by the Board to obtain outside legal or other independent professional advice and to secure the attendance of outsiders with relevant experience and expertise if it considers this necessary.
3.3 The Committee is authorised to approve the External Auditor’s Letter of Engagement.
   
4 Reporting Procedure
4.1 The Chairman of the Audit Committee shall report a summary of Audit matters to the Board.
4.2 Copies of Audit Committee minutes shall be circulated to all Members of the Authority
   
5 Statutory Audit
  The Committee shall:
5.1 advise on the appointment/re-appointment/removal of auditors, their terms of engagement and their level of remuneration.
5.2 review and monitor the external auditor’s independence and objectivity and the effectiveness of the audit process, taking into consideration relevant UK professional and regulatory requirements.
5.3 discuss with the external auditor, before the audit, its nature and its scope.
5.4 maintain a general oversight of the statutory audit and discuss any points of principle which may arise.
5.5 meet the Audit Partner concerned to ensure that the auditors have received all the co-operation and information which they require to carry out their audit;
  5.5.1 discover any unresolved issues between management and the auditors and ascertain that the auditors have no reservations arising from the audit prior to the financial statements being submitted to the Board:
  5.5.2 discuss significant adjustments resulting from the audit
  5.5.3review the going concern assumption
5.6 receive and review the Auditors’ Management Letter and the response to it and discuss these with the Audit Partner and the Chief Financial Officer, reporting to the Board as necessary.  Obtain confirmation from the auditors that in their opinion proper accounting standards have been applied and maintained.
5.7 consider and advise on the format of Annual Accounts, and on any changes in accounting policies and practices.
5.8 monitor the integrity of the financial statements of the Authority and the effectiveness of the Authority’s internal audit function
   
6 Internal Controls and Risk Management Systems
  The Committee shall:
6.1 review the internal control and risk management systems
6.2 receive reports from management on the effectiveness of the systems they have established and the conclusions of any testing carried out by internal or external auditors.
6.3 consider annually whether there is a need for an internal audit function and make recommendations to the Board as necessary.
   
7 Whistleblowing
  The Committee shall:
7.1 review the arrangements by which staff may, in confidence, raise concerns about possible improprieties in matters of financial reporting and other matters.
7.2 ensure that arrangements are in place for the proportionate and independent investigation of any concerns raised including appropriate follow up action.

 

 

 

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