Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance

Audit Committees: Practical Guidance for Local Authorities and Police (2018 Edition)


This fully revised and updated edition takes into account the legislative changes and professional developments that have affected the sectors. It includes additional guidance and resources to support audit committee members, and those working with and supporting the committee’s development.







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Audit committees are a key component of corporate governance.

They provide a high-level focus on assurance and the organisation’s arrangements for governance, managing risk, maintaining an effective control environment, and reporting on financial and non-financial performance. They also play an important role supporting police and crime commissioners, chief constables and local authorities.

This edition updates the core functions of the audit committee in relation to governance, risk management, internal control and audit.

This includes new legislation affecting audit committees in combined authorities and updates to regulations and statutory guidance. The updates to the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards, and Delivering Good Governance in Local Government: Framework and associated guidance are also considered for their impact on the work of the audit committee.

There are significant changes to the core functions of the committee in relation to external audit, reflecting the new arrangements for auditor appointment and new guidance on ethical standards for auditors issued by the Financial Reporting Council.

Both developments require greater attention to be given to this important area.

The audit committee role in relation to counter-fraud has also been updated to reflect the Code of Practice on Managing the Risk of Fraud and Corruption.

The guidance continues to include a strong focus on the factors that support improvement. These include the knowledge and skills that audit committee members require and a focus on where the audit committee adds value.

It will provide practical support to those wishing to evaluate their existing committee and plan improvements.

This publication is only available online.

The digital, online version is available as both searchable HTML and a bookmarked downloadable PDF of the publication that can be shared throughout your organisation.

Customers will need to register and login to CIPFA’s website to access the publication. Details of licensing arrangements for other categories of purchaser, which includes those organisations operating shared service arrangements, are available from CIPFA’s Publications Department.

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