Functions and Delegations
(a) To consider the Internal Audit Manager’s annual report and opinion, and a summary of internal audit activity (actual and proposed) and the level of assurance it can give over the council’s corporate governance arrangements.
(b) To agree the external Audit Plan for the year.
(c) To approve the cost of the Audit.
(d) To consider summaries of specific internal audit reports as requested.
(e) To consider reports dealing with the management and performance of the providers of internal audit services.
(f) To consider a report from internal audit on agreed recommendations not implemented within a reasonable timescale.
(g) To consider the external auditor’s annual letter, relevant reports and the report to those charged with governance.
(h) To consider specific reports as agreed with the external audit work and to ensure it gives value for money.
(i) To comment on the scope and depth of external audit work and to ensure it gives value for money.
(j) To liaise with the Audit Commission over the appointment of the Council’s external auditor.
(k) To commission work from internal and external audit.
(l) To oversee the whistle-blowing policy and make appropriate recommendations for change to the policy;
(m)To liaise with the Overview and Scrutiny Committee Chairman to coordinate cross-cutting issues and avoid duplication.
(n) To maintain an overview of the Council’s constitution and the Code of Conduct.
(o) To review any issue referred to it by the Chief Executive, Directors, S151 Officer, Monitoring Officer or any council body.
(p) To monitor the effective development and operation of risk management and corporate governance in the council, and to ensure that these matters are effectively embedded.
(q) To oversee the production of the authority’s Statement on Internal Control and to recommend its adoption.
(r) To consider the Council’s arrangements for corporate governance and agreeing necessary actions to ensure compliance with best practice.
(s) To consider the Council’s compliance with its own and other published performance standard.
(t) To review the annual statement of accounts. Specifically, to consider whether appropriate accounting policies have been followed and whether there are concerns arising from the financial statements or from the audit that need to be brought to the attention of the Council.
(u) To consider the external auditor’s report to those charged with governance on issues arising from the audits of the accounts.
To discharge the functions (other than those which are reserved to Council) as set out in Part 1, Chapter 7 of the Localism Act 2011 including:
· To promote and maintain high standards of conduct by Members and Co-opted Members of the Council and to make recommendations to Council on improving standards.
· To advise and assist Parish/Town Councils and Parish/Town Councillors to maintain high standards of conduct and to make recommendations to Parish/Town Councils on improving standards.
· To advise the Council on the adoption of or revisions to its Code of Conduct.
· To advise, train or arrange to train Members, Co-opted Members and Parish/Town Councillors on matters relating to the Code of Conduct.
· To assist the Councillors, Co-opted Members and Parish/Town Councillors to observe their respective Codes of Conduct.
· To monitor and assess the operation and effectiveness of the Code of Conduct and to review and manage the arrangements for dealing with Code of Conduct Complaints.
· To advise on local ethical governance protocols and procedures.
· To maintain oversight of the Council’s arrangements for dealing with Code of Conduct complaints.
· To act as an advisory body in respect of any ethical governance matter.
· To monitor and review the procedures for the Register of Members’ Interests and declaring gifts and hospitality.
· To receive quarterly reports (or less frequently if there are no complaints to report) from the Monitoring Officer on the number and nature of complaints received and action taken as a result in consultation with the Independent Person.
· To receive an annual report on the Council’s ethical governance arrangements.
· To appointment a sub-committee to deal with Code of Conduct complaints, following investigation.
· To grant dispensations pursuant to S33(2) of the Localism Act 2011 and paragraph 8 of the adopted Code of Conduct where:
(i) without the dispensation, the representation of different political groups on the body transacting the business would be so upset as to alter the outcome of any vote on the matter.
(ii) that the authority considers that the dispensation is in the interests of persons living in its area; or
where the Committee considers that it is otherwise appropriate to grant a dispensation.
Audit and Governance Annual Reports
Support officer: Democratic Services Team.
Royal Tunbridge Wells
Phone: (01892) 554413