The role of Internal Audit is defined in the Terms of Reference as approved by the Audit and Standards Committee. The service is provided by Warwickshire County Council. Internal audit within the public sector is governed by the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS), which have been in place since 2013 and were updated in 2017.

Terms of Reference

The strategic objective of Stratford-on-Avon District Council's Internal Audit service is:

  • to provide a professional and effective internal audit service that contributes to the economic, efficient and effective use of council resources
  • to support the council's s151 Officer in the discharge of statutory responsibilities
  • to provide an independent appraisal function for reviewing the internal controls of the council
  • promote the application of sound governance arrangements and minimise exposure to fraud and misuse of resources
  • provide an opinion on the council's overall systems of control which will be incorporated into the Annual Governance Statement

At an operational level, the objectives and scope of the Internal Audit Service are based on, and comply with:

The professional standards are derived from the Auditing Practices Board, and the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors.

In compliance with legislation and professional standards, Internal Audit:

  • has an unrestricted range of coverage of the organisation's operations and has sufficient authority to allow access to such records, assets and personnel as are necessary for the proper fulfilment of its responsibilities
  • is an independent service that is free from operational duties
  • has direct reporting lines to the Executive Directors
  • determines its priorities via the Strategic and Operational Audit Plans. These are approved in consultation with the members of the council's Management Team and the Audit and Standards Committee

The resource level required to deliver the Strategic and Operation Audit plans is determined by the Internal Audit Manager. The resource requirement will be determined in available man-days required to complete the plans. Where the resource level is considered to be insufficient, the Internal Audit Manager will report to the Management Team and the Audit Committee together with suggested remedial action.

Performance against the plans is regularly monitored and reported to the Monitoring Officer, s151 Officer and the Audit and Standards Committee. Where it is evident that the resource level is insufficient, remedial action will be considered (e.g. buy in additional resources, slip activities in the plans) and this will be reported to the Monitoring Officer, the s151 Officer and the Audit Committee.

It should be noted that an external quality assessment on the Internal Audit service was undertaken in 2018. The overall conclusion of this review was that the service complies with the expectations of the PSIAS and out-performs other audit services in local government.

The Head of ICT & Revenues is responsible for the investigation of potential Housing and Council Tax Benefit-related fraud.

Suspected cases of fraud can be reported to fraud@stratford-dc.gov.uk or the fraud hotline on 01789 260486.

Last updated on 03/08/2018

Contact the Directors' Unit team