Standards & Audit Committee
CONTACT: HELENA COUPERWHITE 03451 555555 EXT 460105
Terms of Reference
The terms of reference and functions of the Standards and Audit Committee are to deal with the following matters:-
promoting and maintaining high standards of conduct by councillors and co-opted members;
assisting councillors and co-opted members to observe the Councillors’ Code of Conduct and any Council Code of Conduct or Protocol;
advising the Council on the adoption or revision of any Code of Conduct for councillors and co-opted members including training or arranging for training to be provided.
The committee shall also be responsible for considering the following matters:
- all matters concerning the establishment, maintenance and public availability of a register of interests that have been declared by members or employees of the authority including guidance for the assistance of members and employees on the registration of interests, gifts and hospitality
- the Council’s Code of Conduct fo remployees
- any protocol to guide members and officers in their relations with one another
- guidelines on standards of conduct required of agents and contractors acting for and on behalf of the Council
- the Council’s customer care and complaints policies
- the annual report of the Scottish Public ServicesOmbudsman
- any report by the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman ofmal-administration against the Council
- the annual report of the Scottish Information Commissioner on the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002
- an annual report on the performance of the Council under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002
- any report or recommendation made by Scottish Ministers or the Standards Commission for Scotland in respect of any breach of the Councillors’Code of Conduct, but excluding any report made by the Standards Commission in respect of a member of Fife Council, which reports shall be referred to the full Council in terms of the relevant legislation.
Audit and RiskManagement
- to provide those charged with governance independent assurance on the adequacy of the risk management framework, the internal control environment and the integrity of the financial reporting and annual governance processes
- reviewing with management the adequacy and effectiveness of the following matters:-
- internal control environment
- policies and practices to ensure compliance with relevant statutes, directions, guidance and policies
- financial information presented to the Council
- risk management arrangements and procedures
- arrangements for delivering value for money (best value)
- anti-fraud arrangements
- anti-corruption arrangements including the Council’s whistle-blowing strategy.
- reviewing with management the Council’s financial statements,external audit opinion and report to members, management letters or reports and compliance with codes of corporate governance
- reviewing the risk profile of the organisation and assurances that action is being taken on risk-related issues, including partnerships with other organisations
- reviewing the authority’s assurance statements, including the Annual Governance Statement, to ensure that they properly reflect the risk environment and any actions required to improve it,and demonstrate how governance supports the achievements of the authority’s objectives
- ensuring that the internal audit and risk management division has adequate skills and resources to provide an effective internal audit and risk management function
- supporting the Chief Audit Executive, enabling them to carry out their role effectively, ensuring the effectiveness of the internal audit process
- promoting the effective use of internal audit within the assurance framework
- ensuring internal audit and risk management have appropriate standing within the Council
- reviewing the activities of the internal audit and risk management function including approving its overall strategy and annual work programme, andreviewing the annual report against agreed actions
- supporting effective relationships between external audit and internal audit, inspection agencies and other relevant bodies, and encouraging the active promotion of the value of the audit process
- considering the reports and recommendations of internal audit,external audit and inspection agencies and their implications for governance, risk management or control and monitoring management action in response to the issues raised
- reporting regularly on their work and at least annually reporting an assessment of their performance
- the consideration of the unaudited annual accounts of the Council (excluding those of the Pension Fund) as made up at the end of the financial year and approval of the audited accounts(excluding those of the Pension Fund from 2020 onwards) for signature together with the external auditor’s annual report on the accounts; (subject to other elected members who are not members of the Committee being given an opportunity to attend the Committee and provide further input).
- The Committee shall also scrutinise and investigate any particular matter referred to the committee by any member of the Council relating to audit and risk or standards issues and which the Committee consider requires further examination. The Committee shall also have the option of referring matters not within its remit to the relevant Scrutiny Committee.
Standards and Audit Committee membership
The Committee will comprise 10 members, based on political balance calculated as above, but including, where possible, the Convener of the Superannuation Fund and Pensions Committee.