The Audit Committee is an independent advisory committee to Council established under S139 of the Local Government Act 1989. The primary objective of the Audit Committee is to assist Council in the effective conduct of its responsibilities for financial reporting, management of risk, maintaining a reliable system of internal controls and facilitating the organisation's ethical development.
The Audit Committee is established to assist the co-ordination of relevant activities of management, the internal audit function and the external auditor to facilitate achieving overall organisational objectives in an efficient and effective manner.
As part of Council's governance obligations to its community, Council has constituted an Audit Committee to facilitate:
The following are the duties and responsibilities of the Audit Committee in pursuing its Charter:
1. To review the scope of the internal audit plan and program and the effectiveness of the function. This review should consider whether, over a period of years the internal audit plan systematically addresses:
2. Review the appropriateness of special internal audit assignments undertaken by internal audit at the request of Council or Chief Executive Officer.
3. Review the level of resources allocated to internal audit and the scope of its authority.
4. Review reports of internal audit and the extent to which Council and management react to matters raised by internal audit, by monitoring the implementation of recommendations made by internal audit.
5. Facilitate liaison between the internal and external auditor to promote compatibility, to the extent appropriate, between their audit programs.
6. Critically analyse and follow up any internal or external audit report that raises significant issues relating to risk management, internal control, financial reporting and other accountability or governance issues, and any other matters relevant under the Committee's terms of reference. Review management's response to, and actions taken as a result of the issues raised.
7. Monitor the risk exposure of Council by determining if management has appropriate risk management processes and adequate management information systems.
8. Monitor ethical standards and related party transactions by determining whether the systems of control are adequate.
9. Review Council's draft annual financial report, focusing on:
10. Recommend adoption of the annual financial report to Council. Review any significant changes that may arise subsequent to any such recommendation but before the financial report is signed.
11. Discuss with the external auditor the scope of the audit and the planning of the audit.
12. Discuss with the external auditor issues arising from the audit, including any management letter issued by the auditor and the resolution of such matters.
13. Review procurement practices against best practice and legislation and advise Council.
14. Review the annual performance statement and recommend its adoption to Council.
15. Review issues relating to national competition policy, financial reporting by Council business units and comparative performance indicators.
16. Identify and refer specific projects or investigations deemed necessary through the Chief Executive Officer, the internal auditor and the Council if appropriate. Oversee any subsequent investigation, including overseeing of the investigation of any suspected cases of fraud within the organisation.
17. Monitor the progress of any major lawsuits facing the Council.
18. Address issues brought to the attention of the Committee, including responding to requests from Council for advice that are within the parameters of the Committee's terms of reference.
19. The Audit Committee in conjunction with Council and the Chief Executive Officer should develop the Committee's performance indicators.
20. Receiving mandatory quarterly financial statements.
21. Review key polices impacting the effectiveness of Council's governance framework, including the Code of Ethics, Fraud Policy, Whistleblower Policy, etc.