Joint Audit Committee: Kent Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable (“Committee”)
Terms of reference
The purpose of the Joint Audit Committee is to provide the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Chief Constable with independent assurance on matters of governance. This covers the management of risk, the operation of internal controls, matters of financial reporting and non-financial performance. The Committee seeks assurance from external and internal auditors, whose work it oversees. The Committee is entirely independent of the executive.
The Committee is responsible for:-
Providing independent assurance on the adequacy and effectiveness of the Police and Crime Commissioner (“PCC’s”) and Kent Police’s internal control environment and risk management framework;
Independently scrutinising financial and non-financial performance to the extent that it affects the PCC’s and Kent Police’s exposure to risks and weakens the internal control environment;
Overseeing the financial reporting process and the work of external audit
Overseeing the work of internal audit
Advising the PCC and Chief Constable(“CC”) on issues relating to governance and the adequacy of the annual governance statement;
Reviewing any issue referred to the Committee by the PCC or CC or their statutory officers and make recommendations as appropriate
Reviewing the effectiveness of policies for whistleblowing and for countering fraud and corruption
Membership and Meetings
The Committee can be made up of a maximum of five external members who are independent of the PCC and CC.
The Committee requires three members to be quorate; the Committee will meet at least five times a year and the Chairman may convene additional meetings as required.
The Committee is responsible for agreeing an annual programme of work and reviewing its own effectiveness on an annual basis.
The Committee will comply with CIPFA code and guidelines for audit committees.
The Committee and its members will act in line with the Nolan seven principles of public life.
Accountability and Reporting
The Committee will report formally in writing to the PCC and CC and their statutory officers via approved meeting notes after each meeting.
The Committee will provide the PCC and CC and their statutory officers with an annual report (timed to support publication of the annual accounts and annual governance statement) which summarises its work and conclusions and assesses its own performance.
The Committee will satisfy itself as to the effectiveness of the internal control frameworks in operation within the OPCC and the Force and advise the PCC and CC as appropriate.
The Committee will advise the PCC and CC on whether the controls in place are compliant with the relevant legal and statutory frameworks.
Receive and comment upon the PCC’s Police and Crime Plan to seek assurance on the PCC’s management of any identified risks.
Consider the draft annual governance statement and the draft annual accounts before publication and comment and provide advice to management as appropriate.
Corporate Risk Management
Consider the PCC’s and the CC’s corporate risk management framework and strategic risk registers and review procedures, to provide assurance to the PCC and CC that an appropriate action is being taken in the management of key risks.
Review the governance framework and provide an independent assessment of governance and risk management.
Consider the risks, especially the financial risks, to which the PCC and CC are exposed; to ensure measures exist to reduce or eliminate them or to insure against them and advise on these; and to provide an independent assessment of governance and risk management.
Seek assurance as to the effectiveness of the PCC’s and CC’s business continuity arrangements.
Consider the effectiveness of the PCC’s and Kent Police approach to operating ethically, including the relevant policies.
Consider any commissioning and partnership arrangements and review assurances and assessments on the effectiveness of these arrangements, including those in place for the allocation and monitoring of grants made.
Review the reports of other inspection agencies (for example HMICFRS) and to seek assurances on actions taken to address identified areas of concern.
Consider the PCC’s and CC’s annual statement of accounts and the group statement of accounts and make recommendations or bring to the attention of the PCC or CC, any concerns, or issues.
Consider whether appropriate accounting policies have been followed.
Consider steps taken by the PCC and CC to achieve good value for money and to benchmark the costs of service provision.
Ensure the effectiveness of the governance framework in respect of contract procedures, financial regulations, reserves strategy, capital strategy and treasury management.
Review monthly financial reporting for both revenue and capital and progress of the medium-term financial plan and advise management as appropriate.
Ensure compliance with internal auditing standards.
Advise the PCC and CC on the appropriate arrangements for internal audit.
Advise on the internal audit strategy; the internal audit annual plan of work and approve the internal audit charter.
Give assurance to the PCC and CC on the provision of an adequate and effective internal audit service; receiving progress reports on the internal audit work plan and ensuring appropriate action is taken in response to audit findings, particularly in areas of high risk.
Consider the internal audit annual report and annual opinion on the internal control environments for the OPCC and Force; and ensure appropriate action is taken to address any identified areas for improvement.
Review progress of implementation of agreed internal audit recommendations.
Advise the PCC and CC on the appointment of external auditors.
Review and comment as appropriate on the proposed external audit year end plan, timetable and proposed fee structures.
Review the external auditor's year- end audit results report and findings; report on these to the PCC and CC as appropriate and review progress on the implementation of any agreed recommendations.
Review the external auditor's annual audit letter and make recommendations as appropriate to the PCC and CC.
Understanding the Kent policing strategy and performance review procedures
Scrutinise the annual force management statement which provides a considered view of the current and future policing challenges and identifies key risks and any capacity gaps.
Observe those internal corporate meetings which are key to the Force governance framework and assess their effectiveness and efficiency and report back to the JAC members on any matters of interest or concern.
Undertake deep dives into particular risks where further assurance is required.