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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Audit Committee: 23rd February 2012

 

Report of the Head of Accountancy and Resource Management

 

Self Assessment Checklist - Measuring the Effectiveness of the Audit Committee

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             The purpose of this report is to inform the Audit Committee of the findings of the self-assessment checklist - measuring the effectiveness of the Audit Committee.

Recommendations

THAT the results of the self-assessment on the effectiveness of the Audit Committee be noted.

Reasons for the Recommendations

To provide for a review of the effectiveness of the Audit Committee.

Background

2.             The Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy (CIPFA) published practical guidance for local authorities on the role of audit committees.  Although not mandatory, the Guidance contains certain fundamental principles, which, if not followed, could result in criticism from the Council's External Auditors Grant Thornton UK LLP.

3.             Effective audit committees help raise the profile of internal control, risk management and financial reporting issues within an organisation.  They enhance public trust and confidence in the financial governance of an authority.

Relevant Issues and Options

4.             In order to ascertain how effective the Audit Committee is in contributing to good governance, a self-assessment was undertaken applying the model as contained within the CIPFA guidance and comparing this with the Audit Committee's existing Terms of Reference.

5.             Attached at Appendix A is the outcome of the self-assessment checklist.  This has been used to measure the overall effectiveness of the Council's Audit Committee.  The overall assessment is very good with all positive responses.  Therefore, it can be concluded that the Council's Audit Committee makes an effective contribution to the overall governance arrangements of the Council.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

6.             Effective audit planning and monitoring are key contributors in ensuring that the Authority's assets and interests are properly accounted for and safeguarded.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

7.             Provision of an adequate and effective Internal Audit function is a legal requirement under the Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulations 2005.

Crime and Disorder Implications

8.             Pursuing initiatives to prevent, detect and deter crime is encompassed within the terms of reference under which the audit function operates.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

9.             None as a direct consequence of this report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

10.        The work of audit is intended to assist in the achievement of all corporate and service objectives.

Policy Framework and Budget

11.        The proposals in this report are in accordance with the policy framework and budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

12.        No further consultation is proposed.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

13.        Corporate Resources.

Background Papers

None

Contact Officer

Helen Smith - Principal Auditor Tel: 01656 754901

Officers Consulted

External Audit Manager - Grant Thornton UK LLP

Responsible Officer:

Alan Jenkins - Head of Accountancy & Resource Management