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Internal Audit

1. Introduction

The Internal Audit Directorate was created by an Act, 2006. In accordance with the Act, the Honorable Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs issues this Charter to provide guidance on the scope, responsibilities and powers of the Audit Committee.

The Charter provides guidance to members of the Audit Committee in discharging their respective duties. It sets out the committee’s objectives, authority, composition, roles and responsibilities and provides a channel of communication with the different stakeholders.

2. Purpose

The primary role of the Audit Committee is to assist the Chief Accounting Officer in fulfilling his/her duties as designated to him/her by the Minister in accordance with the provisions of the Government Budget Management and Accountability (GBMAA) Act 2004.

It will assist the Chief Accounting Officer and other top management in fulfilling their responsibilities for the financial reporting process, the internal control system, the internal and external audit process, and the government entity’s process for monitoring compliance with laws and regulations.

3. Authority

The audit committee has authority to conduct or authorize investigations into any matters within its scope of responsibility. It is empowered to:

· Resolve any disagreements between management and the internal auditor regarding internal controls, risk management and governance controls;

· Pre-approve all audit and non-audit services like internal management consultancies and quality assurance;

· Retain independent counsel, accountants, or others to advise the committee or assist in the conduct of an investigation;

· To request and obtain professional advice for which the cost could be is borne by the concerned government entity;

· To commission any appropriate special audits and / or investigations on the concerned Government Ministry or agency and lead the appointment of independent professionals to conduct such audits.

· To seek and be provided with relevant information it requires from both internal and external sources. All employees shall be directed to cooperate with any requests made by the Audit Committee and parties appointed by the Audit Committee;

· Secure the attendance of any officer of the government as considered necessary;



4. Composition

The Audit Committee will consist of at least three and not more than six members. Government will appoint committee members and the Committee Chairperson shall be appointed by the members of the Committee.

Each committee member will be independent and have experience in financial management. At least one member shall be designated as the ‘Financial Expert’’.

5. Meetings

The committee will meet at least six times a year, with authority to convene additional meetings, as circumstances require. All committee members are expected to attend each meeting. The Committee will invite members of management, internal auditors or others to attend meetings and provide pertinent information, as necessary. It will hold meetings with internal auditors (see below) and executive sessions.

Meeting agendas will be prepared and provided at least two weeks in advance to members, along with the appropriate briefing materials. Minutes must be prepared during every meeting of the Committee.

Quorum for the meeting should be at least three members of the Committee present.

6. Responsibilities and Duties:

The Committee shall be given full access to the Internal Audit Directorate, management (in all GoTG agencies and departments), personnel and the Auditor General or other independent auditors as necessary to carry out these responsibilities.

The Committee will carry out the following responsibilities:

6.1 Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness, efficiency and adequacy of Internal Controls

The Audit Committee shall monitor the operation of internal controls by;

i) Considering the effectiveness of Government’s internal control system, including management of information systems as well as information technology security and control;

ii) Understanding the scope of internal auditors’ review of internal control over financial reporting, and obtain reports on significant findings and recommendations, together with management’s responses;

iii) Understanding the nature and severity of control deficiencies, management’s remediation plans, and impact on reports.

6.2 Supervision of the Internal Audit function

The Committee shall;

1. Review with management and the Head of the Internal Audit Directorate the charter, plans, activities, staffing, and organizational structure of the internal audit function;

2. Ensure there are no unjustified restrictions or limitations, and review and concur in the appointment, replacement, or dismissal of the Head of the Internal Audit Directorate;

3. Review the effectiveness of the internal audit function, including compliance with The Institute of

Internal Auditors’ Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing and the Government Budget and Management Act. (GBMAA);

4. While not in session, the Committee can meet regularly with the Internal Audit Director to discuss any matters that the Committee or the Internal Audit Directorate deems necessary to be discussed ;

5. Understand results of audit work, audit recommendations and management responses with focus on most significant findings and high ranking or rank fluctuation operational risks;

6. Ensure there are no unjustified restrictions or limitations to internal audit activity;

7. Review fraud reports and give directives;

8. Review the cooperation and coordination between the internal and external audit functions and ensure that there is coordination between the internal audit and external audit work plan to avoid duplication;

9. Assess the adequacy and performance of the internal audit function and the adequacy of the available resources.

6.3 Monitoring compliance to laws and regulations

The Audit Committee shall ensure that Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) comply with applicable laws and regulations by;

i) Reviewing the effectiveness of the system for monitoring compliance with laws and regulations and the results of management’s investigations and follow-up (including disciplinary action) of any instances of non compliance;

ii) Reviewing the findings of any examinations by regulatory agencies and any auditor observations and follow up actions;

iii) Obtain regular updates from management, internal audit and the legal department regarding compliance matters.

7 Reporting responsibilities

The Audit Committee shall;

i) Regularly report to Government about committee activities, issues and related recommendations;

ii) Provide an open avenue of communication between internal audit and Government.

iii) Report annually to the Honourable Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs describing The Committee’s composition, responsibilities and how they were discharged, and any other information required.

iv) Review any other reports issued by Government that relate to committee responsibilities;

8 Annual Performance Evaluation

i. Perform a review and evaluation, at least annually, of The Committee’s performance and its members, including the review of its compliance with this Charter;

ii. Evaluation criteria shall include;

§ Expertise and know-how;

§ Attitude, objectivity, judgment and independence;

§ Commitment to the Committee’s duties and responsibilities;

§ Attendance of meetings and willingness to devote time to prepare for meetings;

§ Knowledge of the government’s objectives and operations.

iii. Review and assess the adequacy of The Committee Charter annually, requesting Government approval for proposed changes, and ensure appropriate disclosure as may be required by law, regulation or an Act of The National Assembly.

iv. Evaluate the Committee’s and individual members’ performance on a regular basis.

9 Other Responsibilities

· Perform other activities related to this Charter as requested by Government;

· Review unsettled public financial management issues.

10 Oversight role, not management responsibilities

Whereas the Audit Committee has the responsibilities and powers set forth in this Charter, it is not the duty of the Committee’s members to conduct audits or examine the accounts of the Government of The Gambia.

 

Last Updated (Thursday, 10 September 2015 13:54)

 
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