Internal Audit

Internal auditing is an independent, objective assurance and consulting activity. The role of our Internal Audit team is to add value to, and improve, the operations of the councils. We seek to evaluate and improve our control and governance processes.

What do we do?

Internal audits must be carried out by every government organisation. This is a legal requirement, as per Section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972. We are primarily a statutory service. We carry out risk-based audit and assurance work, where we provide independent and objective opinions about how we, as a council, operate.

The areas we assess include:

  • corporate governance arrangements
  • financial governance and systems
  • corporate performance
  • information governance and IT
  • asset and people management
  • commissioning, procurement and contract management
  • programme and project management

We carry out our work within and across all directorates. Our corporate manager indirectly reports to our Senior Leadership Team via the Assistant Director for Law and Governance (who is also our Monitoring Officer). Our Joint Audit and Standards Committee oversees our work and performance.

Our corporate manager has direct access and freedom to report in his own name - and without fear of, or favour to, any officer or member.

Our statutory role
Our requirement as an internal audit function is contained within the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2011. These regulations state that we must:
'...undertake an adequate and effective internal audit of its accounting records and of its system of internal control in accordance with the proper practices in relation to internal control'.
We also assist our Section 151 Officer in discharging their delegated responsibilities. This is as per Section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972, which states that we must:
'...make arrangements for the proper administration of their financial affairs and shall secure that one of their officers has responsibility for the administration of those affairs'.
We govern ourselves, in accordance with the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS). These standards originally came into effect in 2013, and were revised in 2017.
Our service and objectives
We provide an independent appraisal, to the councils, on systems of internal control. It is a review activity that does not relieve management of their responsibility to ensure that effective systems of control are in place.
We independently review the activities of the councils, and report our findings to those who need to know. We also make sure that any necessary appropriate action is taken.
Our objectives are to assure that:
  • the councils' systems of internal control are operating effectively
  • operations are carried out in accordance with council policies and procedures, and current legislation
  • operations provide best value
  • assets and interests are accounted for, and safeguarded from, losses of all kinds. These losses include fraud, waste and inefficiency
Our authority
Our authority is derived from each council's constitution. Our Internal Audit Charter formally defines our purpose, authority and responsibility.
This charter has been approved by our Joint Audit and Standards Committee. This committee also consider and monitor our planning process.
We have the authority to:
  • carry out internal audit work on any council activity
  • visit any council establishment, at any time
  • access any document, correspondence or other records
  • access all stocks, and cash held
  • request and receive assistance or explanation (written or oral) from officers, councillors or other persons
Our responsibilities
When we carry out our role, we will maintain objectivity and display professionalism. We will be tactful, and we will provide advice and assistance where needed.
We consider the needs and risks of the councils when we plan our work.
Each year, our corporate manager presents our planning process to our Senior Leadership Team. We also present its key themes to our Joint Audit and Standards Committee, for their approval.
This committee also receives periodic updates on the outcomes of our work, and other assurance activities. Our corporate manager presents a report, on internal control systems, to the committee annually.
We also:
  • review systems under development
  • perform special investigations, where necessary
  • investigate any possible irregularities. Please visit our Fraud and corruption webpage for more information
Contact us
John Snell, Corporate Manager for Internal Audit
John's mobile number is 07860827039
John's telephone number is 01473 296336
Lilli Siemerling, Internal Audit Officer
Lilli's telephone number is 01449 724565