Successful Collaborations in the Public Services: the role of internal audit

Successful Collaborations: The role of internal audit


Successful Collaborations in the Public Services: The Role of Internal Audit provides practical advice on how the internal auditor can maximise their role from the ‘concept stage’ right through to ‘business as normal’ in delivering effective collaborative and shared service arrangements.







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Over recent years, public service entities have entered into a range of collaborative and shared service arrangements driven by government policy together with resource constraints. Such arrangements are becoming increasingly complex, encompassing different sectors and covering wide geographical areas. Collaborative structures can create challenges for developing the governance arrangements that underpin them and for managing risk. These are key areas for internal auditors to use their skills. Successful Collaborations in the Public Services: The Role of Internal Audit looks at how the internal auditor can provide assurance at the various stages in the collaboration’s development. Secondly, it looks at their role as consultant or advisor, for example on improvements to processes and controls.

The guide considers key concerns for internal auditors as they become involved in collaborative arrangements including the need for a 'singular' entity; how they can safeguard their independence and how assurance can be co-ordinated across providers. The guide also sets out issues for the internal auditor to review at each stage of the collaborative process to help inform audit scope.

Successful Collaborations in the Public Services: The Role of Internal Audit covers the following:

  • Collaborative arrangements – the role of the internal auditor: benefits and barriers
  • Pressures to collaborate and emerging models
  • Stages of collaboration and the role of the internal auditor at each stage
  • Working with other assurance providers and internal auditors.

The guide draws on the good governance principles set out in the International Framework: Good Governance in the Public Sector (CIPFA/IFAC, 2014) throughout. It will assist internal auditors to perform effectively in their roles in relation to collaborations and add value for their entities. It will also be useful for others providing assurance on, or looking to establish, collaborative arrangements, including audit committees, external auditors and chief financial officers. It will also assist those, such as members of the wider governing body, wishing to gain a greater understanding of how internal auditors can assist public service entities in achieving the objectives of collaborative ventures.

This publication is available in online format only.

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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