Role of the Audit Committee in Higher Education Institutions
HEFCE requires all universities to appoint an Audit Committee and to arrange for internal and external audit in accordance with the HEFCE Audit Code of Practice (Annex A to the Memorandum of assurance and accountability), as a condition of the receipt of HEFCE funds. This requirement has been continued by OfS during the transition period to 31 July 2019. The Audit Code of Practice sets out in detail the composition and terms of reference that HEFCE considers appropriate for an Audit Committee. The role of the Audit Committee is to report annually to the institution’s governing body its conclusions on the adequacy and effectiveness of the institution’s arrangements for the following:
- risk management
- economy, efficiency and effectiveness (value for money)
- management and quality assurance of data submitted to HESA and to HEFCE and other funding bodies.
The University’s Audit and Scrutiny Committee
The Audit and Scrutiny Committee meets at least four times a year, with special meetings held as required. The Committee reports to Council its annual opinion on the five elements as required by HEFCE, and makes additional reports to Council when necessary. The membership of the Committee includes a majority of external members and three members elected by Congregation. It is chaired by an external member of Council.
The Committee’s Regulations specify its role in providing independent assurance to assist Council in fulfilling Council's responsibilities for ensuring the adequacy and effectiveness of the University’s policies and processes, and its compliance with its statutory obligations.