The Internal Audit Service is based at the Civic Centre and is part of the Financial Services department.
It is part of the means by which the Head of Financial Services discharges both his responsibility under Section 151 of the Local Government Act 1972 for ensuring the proper administration of the Council's financial affairs, and his responsibility under Part 6 of the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2003 (Amended 2006) which requires the "relevant body" (i.e. the Council), to maintain an adequate and effective system of internal audit of the accounting records and control systems. These responsibilities are necessary to ensure that public monies and officials responsible for its control should be subject to a high level of accountability.
The Service provides an independent and continuous appraisal of activities within the Council to all levels of management to meet the statutory requirements outlined above.
The overall strategy of Internal Audit (See Internal Audit Strategy April 2007 – March 2011) is to deliver a risk based audit plan in a professional, independent manner, in order to provide the authority with an opinion on the level of assurance it can place upon the internal control environment and to make recommendations to improve it.
The effectiveness of the service in achieving its strategy and annual plan is monitored by both the Head of Financial Services and the Council's Audit Committee. Internal Audit plays a key role in enabling the Audit Committee to meet its statement of purpose and Terms of Reference.
Examples of areas of responsibility for Internal Audit are that it reviews all the Council's main financial systems on an annual basis and provides assurance that the Council's strategic risks are adequately managed. It carries out special investigations into allegations of financial impropriety and is involved in ensuring good data quality is achieved by checking the systems in place and a sample of performance indicator out turns.
The service plays a key role in ensuring that the Council meets the standards of good management as measured by the annual Use of Resources assessment.