The Committee and its Chair shall be appointed by Council, with the following specific requirements:
Membership of the Committee is for three years and may be renewed. Members should not ordinarily serve on the Committee for more than three terms of office and, where possible, changes in membership should be phased in to provide continuity.
The Chief Operating Officer, the Head of Internal Audit, and a representative of the external auditors shall normally attend meetings where business relevant to them is to be discussed. At least once a year, the Committee will meet with the external and internal auditors without any officers present.
Meetings shall normally be held at least three times each financial year. The external auditors or Head of Internal Audit may request a meeting if they consider it necessary.
The Committee is authorised by Council to investigate any activity within its terms of reference. It is authorised to seek any information it requires from any employee, and all employees are directed to co-operate with any request made by the Committee.
The Committee is authorised by Council to obtain outside legal or other independent professional advice and to secure the attendance of non-members with relevant experience and expertise if it considers this necessary, normally in consultation with the Accountable Officer (as designated by OfS) and/or the Chair of Council. However, it may not incur direct expenditure in this respect in excess of £10,000, without the prior approval of Council.
The duties of the Committee are to:
The minutes (or a report) of meetings of the Committee will be circulated to all members of the Council.
The Committee will prepare an annual report for the institution's financial year. The report will be addressed to Council and designated officer, summarising the activity for the year. It will give the Committee's opinion on the extent to which Council may rely on the internal control and risk management system and the arrangements for securing economy, efficiency and effectiveness. (This opinion should be based upon the information presented to the Committee). The Audit Committee annual report should normally be submitted to Council before the University’s annual financial statements are signed.
The secretary to the Audit Committee will normally also be responsible for servicing Council (or another appropriate independent individual).
JGW/Approved by Council 26.11.14/Amendment to Membership approved by Nominations Committee 12.10.16/Minor revisions approved by Audit Committee 6.6.18
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