The Audit Committee is a fundamental element in the University's assurance, internal control and reporting systems. Throughout the year, the Committee closely scrutinizes internal audit reports, considering not just the matters specific to individual reports, but also any trends across reports in order to identify and address any systemic failures. Risk management and value for money are standing items on the Audit Committee's agenda.
The Committee makes annual reports of its findings to the University Council, the Vice-Chancellor and to HEFCE.
The formal duties of the Audit Committee are set out in Chapter XIII (Finance and Property) of the University's Statutes and Ordinances as follows:
The Audit Committee shall meet at least once per term in each financial year. It shall be the duty of the Committee:
(a) to keep under review the University’s risk management strategy and implementation;
(b) to keep under review the effectiveness of the University's systems of financial and other internal control;
(c) to satisfy itself that satisfactory arrangements are adopted throughout the University for promoting economy, efficiency and effectiveness;
(d) to advise the Council on matters relating to the external auditors, including their appointment, their services, their remuneration, and any questions relating to the resignation or dismissal of auditors;
(e) to review annually with the external auditors the nature and scope of the external audit;
(f) to consider, in consultation with the external auditors, (i) any statements annexed to the annual accounts of the University, including the auditors’ report, and (ii) any statement provided by the Council on the governance of the University;
(g) to approve the approach to internal audit;
(h) to approve proposals for the programme of internal audit work put forward by the internal auditors and to ensure that sufficient resources are made available to implement the internal audit programme effectively;
(i) to consider any reports submitted by the auditors and to monitor the implementation of any recommendations made by the auditors, both external and internal;
(j) to monitor annually the performance and effectiveness of the external and internal auditors;
(k) to oversee the University's policy on fraud and irregularity, and to ensure that the Committee is informed of any action taken under that policy;
(l) to ensure that all significant losses are properly investigated and that the internal and external auditors, and where appropriate, other authorities and regulators, are informed;
(m) to make an annual report to the Council, other authorities and regulators as required;
(n) to receive reports from authorities and regulators, and to advise the Council thereon;
(o) to forward minutes of their meetings to the Council.