The Internal Audit and Corporate Governance Unit is an independent and objective appraisal function established by the Chief Executive in order to provide a service to the organisation through the review of the Council’s internal control systems.
The unit operates under an Internal Audit Charter. All of the Council’s activities fall within the remit of Internal Audit. The scope of internal auditing encompasses, but is not limited to, the examination and evaluation as to the adequacy and effectiveness of the Council’s governance, risk management and internal control processes.
Internal Audit is part of the Council’s corporate governance structure and reports both internally and to the Audit Committee. The functions of the audit committee are as prescribed by section 122 (2) of the Local Government Act 2001 (as amended):
- To review the financial and budgetary reporting practices and procedures within the local authority;
- To foster the development of best practice in the performance by the local authority of its internal audit function;
- To review any audited financial statement auditor’s report or auditor’s special report in relation to the local authority and assess any actions taken within that authority by its chief executive in response to such a statement or report, and report its findings to the authority;
- To assess and promote efficiency and value for money with respect to the local authority’s performance of its functions;
- To review systems that are operated by the local authority for the management of risks.
The audit committee also has a role in reviewing the findings and recommendations of the National Oversight and Audit Commission (NOAC) and the response of the Chief Executive to these and to take further action as appropriate.
The operation of the committee is directed by the Local Government (Audit Committee) Regulations 2014, and related guidance as issued in June 2014. The committee operates in accordance with a written charter that is approved by Council.
Kildare County Council’s Audit Committee comprises seven members, including four external members, and three serving Councillors. The Chair of the Committee is one of the external members.
The audit committee meets at least four times each year. The Chief Executive is required to attend at least one meeting each year. It issues an annual report that is presented to Council within three months of the calendar year end.
The Local Government Audit Service from the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage is responsible for the Council’s External Audit. Internal Audit maintains an ongoing liaison with this service. The Local Government Auditor is required to meet the audit committee each year to present and discuss the statutory audit report on the Annual Financial Statements.