Terms of Reference
The Committee will:
1 Assist the Council and the Executive in the development of the budget framework.
2 Act as the Council’s Audit Committee. The nature of this role is specified in the Procedure Rules of this Constitution.
3 Consider means of improving and promoting the performance management and audit functions of the Council.
4 Promote and maintain the Ethical Standards Framework.
5 Make recommendations taking into account the advice of the Monitoring officer of periodic amendments and updating of the Council’s Constitution.
6 The Committee will undertake within its terms of reference and as an integral part of its role as the Council’s Audit Committee, the following areas:
6.1 Integration of the Audit role
To ensure that the principles of effective audit are integrated into the work of the Performance and Audit Scrutiny Committee and the Council generally.
6.2 Risk Management
To provide assurance of the effectiveness of the corporate risk assessment process and monitor the effective development and operation of risk management policies in the Council, specifically including monitoring of the Risk Management Strategy and the Corporate Risk Register.
6.3 Internal Audit and Governance
To provide an effective mechanism to monitor the control environment within the Council, ensuring the highest standards of probity and public accountability by:
· reviewing and approving of the Annual Audit Plan;
· challenging and follow-up of internal audit recommendations;
· reviewing internal audit performance;
· reviewing the Annual Governance Statement and Statement of Internal Control; and
· reviewing the anti-fraud and corruption controls and arrangements (including the whistleblowing process).
6.4 Financial Statements and Annual Accounts
To provide scrutiny of the Council’s financial performance by scrutinising the:
· Finance Monitoring Reports;
· Medium Term Financial Planning
· Financial Outturn reports
· Statement of Accounts
6.5 Treasury Management
To provide scrutiny of:
· the Council’s responses to changes in statutory and regulatory requirements and guidance;
· the annual Treasury Management and Investment Strategy;
· on-going revisions to treasury management strategies and policies;
· the mid-year treasury management review;
6.6 External Audit
To maintain and develop a trusting and professional relationship with the Council’s external auditors and ensure any issues arising from inspection are dealt with including:
· Annual audit and Inspection Plan and any resulting reports;
· Consideration of how the external Audit is conducted and any issues arising
6.7 Annual Audit Letter
6.8 Statement of Auditing Standard (SAS) 610 Communications
To ensure formal reporting of procurement issues including:
· Contract Waivers
· Update and revision of Contract Procedure Rules
· Issues arising from contracts that may impact on the Council’s finances.
Ethical Standards Framework
7 To promote and maintain high standards of conduct by Members and Co-Opted Members of the Council.
8 To advise and assist Town and Parish Councils and Councillors to maintain high standards of conduct and to make recommendation to Town and Parish Councils on improving standards or actions following a finding of a failure by a Town or Parish Member to comply with the Code of Conduct.
9 To manage complaints on behalf of Town and Parish Councils.
10 To advise the Council on the adoption or revision of the Members’ Code of Conduct.
11 To receive referrals from the Monitoring Officer into allegations of misconduct in accordance with the Council’s assessment criteria.
12 To receive reports from the Monitoring Officer and assess the operation and effectiveness of the Members’ Code of Conduct.
13 To train Members and Co-opted Members to observe the Members’ Code of Conduct.
14 To assist Members and co-opted Members to observe the Members’ Code of Conduct.
15 To hear and determine complaints about Members and Co-Opted Members referred to it by the Monitoring Officer.
16 To advise the Council upon the contents of and requirements for codes/protocols/other procedures relating to standards or conduct throughout the Council.
17 To maintain an oversight of the Council’s arrangements for dealing with complaints.
18 To inform the Council and the Chief Executive of relevant issues arising from the determination of Code of Conduct complaints.
19 To appoint the Standards Sub-Committee drawn from four Members of the PAG Committee which will exercise, on a delegated basis, the functions as set out in the sub-committee terms of reference. The Committee should reflect Member representation where practicable.
20 The power to consider and grant dispensations to Members where:
· The number of Members precluded from transacting the business is so great that it would impede the business of the Council, committee or Executive.
· The political balance is affected to the extent that it could affect the outcome of a vote relating to the business.
Standards Sub-Committee Terms of Reference
21 To consider investigation reports in respect of Code of Conduct complaints that are referred to it by the Monitoring Officer.
22 To conduct a hearing into an allegation that a Member or co-opted Member of the Council or Town/Parish Council has breached the relevant code of conduct. At such hearing, the Member against whom a complaint has been made may respond to the investigation report. Following the hearing the sub-committee can make one of the following findings:-
22.1 That the Member has not failed to comply with the Code of Conduct and no further action needs to be taken in respect of the matters considered at the hearing.
22.2 That the Member has failed to comply with the Code of Conduct but no further action needs to be taken in respect of the matters considered at the hearing.
22.3 That the Member has failed to comply with the Code of Conduct and a sanction and/or an informal resolution should be imposed.
23 The sub-committee may impose any action or combination of actions available to it, or impose any informal resolution or combination of informal resolutions as are available to it either by law or policy.
24 After making a finding the sub-committee shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, provide written notice of its findings and the reason for its decision to the Member and the complainant.
Note – The Council on 18 May 2016 approved a Standards Complaints Procedure and a Complaints Standards Sub-Committee Procedure for hearings before the sub-committee. They shall continue to apply to the work of the sub-committee.
Support officer: Lorraine Blackburn. Tel: (01279) 502172 Email: email@example.com