Role of the Audit Panel

The role and operational terms of reference for the CIPFA Audit Panel are detailed below

The CIPFA Audit Panel is a functional, cross-sectoral Panel that reports to CIPFA’s Public Finance and Management Board (PFMB).

The PFMB has laid down generic terms of reference for all of the Panels for which it is responsible. These are set out below:

1. Support the continuous improvement of standards in public finance, management and governance, particularly in UK local government where the Institute has formal standard setting responsibilities through:

  • anticipating, influencing, monitoring and responding to finance and policy issues
  • institute policy formulation and implementation
  • approval (by the Chair where necessary) of Institute responses to Government, professional bodies’ and other bodies’ consultation/discussion papers and exposure drafts
  • development, promotion and maintenance of best practice, standards and guidelines in accordance with the scheme for institute pronouncements
  • production and dissemination of relevant advice and material on issues falling within the Panel’s defined areas of responsibility.

2. Generate ideas and opportunities for services and products which CIPFA may develop and deliver to help to improve public service organisations. Develop strong institutional relationships with Government and other relevant bodies to enable the accountancy profession to work in a more efficient way and to present its views more effectively. Deliver the Panel objectives through:

  • taking a five centres of government perspective
  • input to the formulation of panel work plans (and hence CIPFA business plans), monitoring
  • delivery of the work programme and reporting performance to PFM
  • monitoring and input to the work of other relevant sectoral or functional/ cross-cutting Panels, as appropriate, on matters of mutual interest.

3. Contribute to ensuring that advice, guidance and services successfully developed in one sector or jurisdiction are suitably tailored and systematically made available to others both across the UK and RoI public services, and internationally. Maintain and further develop our position of authority and influence in the accountancy profession at both the national and global levels.

The Audit Panel have identified the following objectives as key to their activities:

  • raising the profile of audit in all parts of the public sector
  • promoting the highest professional standards of audit
  • encouraging delivery of quality audit services
  • supporting CIPFA members working in audit and associated fields.

The Panel meets 3  times per year and is supported by a Technical Manager from the CIPFA Secretariat.

Quorum requirements

Panels should have the following quorum requirements:

  • A quorum is 50% of the panel members. This is required for formal approval of bulletins, guidance and other Institute material. Electronic and paper correspondence from panel members, and presence via teleconference may all be counted towards the 50% quorum.
  • Non-quorate meetings may discuss and formally note matters for future report, but have no executive authority.
  • Urgent decisions, at the Chair’s discretion, should be dealt with by correspondence.

Panel Appointments

Panel membership vacancies are advertised openly and are aimed at CIPFA members. Whilst preference is given to Institute members, non-members may be appointed from key stakeholder organisations where required. Where there is more than one suitable candidate for any given vacancy, the Chair and Panel Secretary may conduct informal interviews with candidates.

Panel members are appointed for an initial period of three years, which may be renewed by agreement of both parties.

The Panel seeks to have representation from the five centres of government, normally nominated through the relevant CIPFA office i.e. Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Republic of Ireland and England.