Audit Committee

State Bodies

The primary means that a state body has of reporting on its activities is its annual report and financial statements. Boards are required to establish an audit committee to advise on internal controls (including corporate governance) and audit matters.

The Committee should provide an independent and objective review of the financial reporting process, internal controls and the audit functions of an organisation. Its role is advisory rather than supervisory in nature. The actual composition and duties of an Audit Committee will reflect the size and character of the organisation. An audit committee can:

The Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies (2016) states that boards The Board of a State body should establish an Audit and Risk Committee of at least three independent non-executive Board members, [...] with written terms of reference which deal clearly with its authority and duties.. The Audit Committee should:

Government Departments

For civil service departments and agencies with appointed Accounting Officers, the Corporate Governance Standard for the Civil Service (2015) states that: "Each Accounting Officer should establish an Audit Committee. The Audit Committee has an independent role in the provision of assurance to the Secretary General and this includes consideration of the adequacy and effectiveness of the Department’s internal control systems, control environment and control procedures, overseeing the work of Internal Audit Unit and to provide advice and professional guidance in relation to the development of the Unit and the provision of advice and guidance in relation to the systems of risk management and internal control within the organisation."

The Code also sets out the following guidelines:

Local Authorities

The Local Government Reform Act 2014 provides for the establishment of audit committees by all local authoritiesand confers specific responsibilities on audit committees in relation to the auditor’s report and audited financial statement:

Non-Profit Organisations

The Governance Code for Charities recommends the setting up of an Audit Committee in Type C organisations. This audit committee should consist of three or more directors. The chair of the organisation’s board can be an audit committee member but cannot chair the audit committee. At least one of this committee should have recent and relevant financial experience.

The audit committee should have written terms of reference that describe the role of the committee and its responsibilities which is published on your Website.

The audit committee should: