new survey shows audit committee effectiveness


Audit committees are generally effective at supporting internal and external audit processes but less effective in other areas of increasing importance, according to the latest survey from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) to be launched at a major audit conference this week.

More than half of the UK heads of Local Government Audit surveyed felt they were very effective at supporting audit processes, but only 15 per cent felt their public accountability was very effective, and even fewer audit committees felt they promoted good governance.

The survey highlights the areas of improvement for audit committees, particularly in developing interactions with partner organisations, providing leadership on good governance and accountability and providing public accountability.

TheCIPFA Audit Conference 2011 will bring together auditors and audit committee members to explore these issues.  The conference will examine how new legislation, initiatives and professional development will affect assurance and audit agendas.

CIPFA Assistant Director, Paul Mason, said:

‘CIPFA’s recent survey highlights those areas where audit committees are performing well, as well as those areas where improvement is needed. In today’s fast changing public sector environment, we cannot be complacent, and CIPFA’s Audit Conference provides essential support by addressing key issues."

The CIPFA Audit Conference 2011, entitled Audit in a new era of change, will be held at the Thistle Hotel, Brighton on 11 – 12 May 2011.

Speakers include:

  • Baroness Hanham CBE, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
  • Tony Travers, Director, LSE London
  • Michael Suffield, Financial Audit Director, National Audit Office
  • Gareth Davis, Director of Audit Practice, Audit Commission
  • Matthew Erikson, Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance, Cabinet Office
  • Joyce Drummond Hill, Head of Internal Audit, Ministry of Justice
  • Marek Grabowski, Executive Director of Auditing Practices Board, Financial Reporting Council


Contact: Lindsay Machin / Chloe Forbes
CIPFA Press Office
t 020 7543 5645/5787
e /

Notes to Editors:

1. For further details on the CIPFA Audit Conference 2011 please go to the CIPFA Seminars and conferences website or alternatively please email

2. The CIPFA Audit Committees in UK Local Government Survey 2011 was sent to Heads of Local Government Audit in the UK, with 161 responses.

3. About CIPFA

CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, is the professional body for people in public finance. Our 14,000 members work throughout the public services, in national audit agencies, in major accountancy firms, and in other bodies where public money needs to be effectively and efficiently managed. As the world’s only professional accountancy body to specialise in public services, CIPFA’s portfolio of qualifications are the foundation for a career in public finance. They include the benchmark professional qualification for public sector accountants as well as a postgraduate diploma for people already working in leadership positions. They are taught by our in-house CIPFA Education and Training Centre as well as other places of learning around the world. We also champion high performance in public services, translating our experience and insight into clear advice and practical services. They include information and guidance, courses and conferences, property and asset management solutions, consultancy and interim people for a range of public sector clients. Globally, CIPFA shows the way in public finance by standing up for sound public financial management and good governance. We work with donors, partner governments, accountancy bodies and the public sector around the world to advance public finance and support better public services.