Forensic Science Northern Ireland Audit and Risk Assuarance Committee

The FSNI Audit and Risk Assurance Committee is not an executive body in that it takes no formal role in either the formulation of policy or in the direct delivery of the Agency’s business. It is appointed as a sub-committee of the Agency’s Leadership Board and reviews the comprehensiveness of assurances in meeting the Leadership Board and Accounting Officer’s needs and reviewing the reliability and integrity of these assurances.

 

Meetings

The FSNI Audit and Risk Assurance Committee is not an executive body in that it takes no formal role in either the formulation of policy or in the direct delivery of the Agency’s business.  It is appointed as a sub-committee of the Agency’s Leadership Board and reviews the comprehensiveness of assurances in meeting the Leadership Board and Accounting Officer’s needs and reviewing the reliability and integrity of these assurances.

Standard Agenda Items

Spring Meeting - April

  • Comment on the accounts for the year just finished prior to their finalisation and submission for audit
  • Advise on the content of the Governance Statement for the year just ended
  • Review of Internal Audit’s finalised periodic work plan for the financial year just begun
  • Agree the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee’s annual report to the Leadership Board and Accounting Officer. This annual report will be drafted by the Chair of the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee with input provided by the other FSNI A&RAC members. This will be submitted to the May Leadership Board meeting.
  • Review of FSNI A&RAC TOR
  • Review of FSNI Fraud Risk Assessment


Summer - June
 

  • Review and consider the accounts
  • Consider emerging External Audit opinion for the financial year just finished and advise the AO on the signing the accounts and Governance Statement
  • Consider Internal Audit’s opinion for the financial year just finished
  • Discuss the implications of the result of the Accounting Officer’s review of the effectiveness of the system of internal control in relation to the Governance Statement
  • Consider Management letter and Letter of Representation

Autumn - October/November

 

  • Advice on the content of mid-year Governance  Assurance Statements
  • Consider mid-year report on emerging findings from Internal Audit
  • Consider the external audit management letter for the previous year, any emerging findings from current interim / in-year work of external audit, and external audit’s approach to their work
  • Consider external audit strategy proposed in respect of the current year’s accounts
  • Consider any residual actions from the previous year’s work of both internal and external audit
  • Review of FSNI Governance Framework Document and Risk Appetite Statement

Winter - February/March

 

  • Advise on the internal audit strategy and the periodic work plan for the beginning of the new financial year
  • External Audit Strategy
  • Consider areas in which the Committee will particularly promote co-operation between auditors and other review bodies in the coming year
  • Re-visit emerging findings from auditors and review actions in response to the external audit management letter
  • Consider the Committee’s own effectiveness in its work.
  • Review of FSNI COI Policy

Standing Agenda Items

  • A report summarising any changes to the organisation’s risk register and recommendation on any risks which should be brought to the attention of DOJ
  • Conflict of Interest declarations
  • A progress report from the Head of Internal Audit summarising:
     
    • work performed (and a comparison with work planned)
    • key issues emerging from internal audit work
    • management response to audit recommendations
    • follow-up plans and results
    • changes to the periodic plan
    • any resourcing issues affecting or likely to affect the delivery of Internal Audit objectives
  • A progress report from the NIAO summarising work done and emerging findings
  • A progress report from FSNI on actions against Internal Audit recommendations
  • National Fraud Initiative
  • Regular update on the outcome of all Gateway reviews since previous committee meeting.
  • Regular update on progress against the Quality Audit Plan
  • Information Assurance and GDPR update
  • Quarterly Update on Suspected Frauds
  • Procurement – Quarterly Governance and DAC’s awarded reports
  • Values Demonstrated at the meeting

 

In addition and as appropriate the agenda may contain

  • proposals for the Terms of Reference of Internal Audit
  • the Internal Audit Strategy
  • the Head of Internal Audit’s Annual Opinion and Report
  • quality Assurance Reports on the internal audit function
  • draft Accounts
  • draft Governance Statement
  • a report on any changes to accounting policies
  • NIAO’s management letter
  • A report on any proposals to tender audit functions
  • any other matters that may be relevant to the work of the Committee
  • a report on the co-operation between Internal and External Audit.

3.      Papers, including covering paper (Annex B), for consideration at a particular Committee meeting must be with the Secretary ten working days before the date of the next meeting. Papers for meetings to be issued to FSNI A&RAC members 5 working days in advance of the meeting.  The Secretary is responsible for ensuring that papers are presented in a common, easy to use, format.  Font size 12 Arial single and 1½ spacing is recommended.

4.      The draft Committee minutes are circulated to members for comment within working 5 days of the meeting and agreed minutes are circulated to Board members.

When the minutes of the meeting are agreed this will in effect be a formal report with recommendations which will be submitted to the next scheduled FSNI Leadership Board meeting and FSNI Accounting Officer for review and to action as necessary.

Review and amendment to the Terms of Reference

The TOR for the FSNI Audit and Risk Assurance Committee will be reviewed annually by the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee at the Spring meeting. This will then be submitted for approval to the Leadership Board. Any amendment to the TOR during the course of the year will also be approved by the Leadership Board.

The Terms of Reference will be made available to the public on the FSNI website.

Publication of minutes, suitably redacted, will be available to all staff on the FSNI system.

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