Audit Committee


Upcoming Meetings

2020/2021

01 February 2021

17 May 2021

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Council Members

Ex-officio members

Dr Elaine Way, Pro-Chancellor

Dr Elaine Way, Pro-Chancellor

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Appointed members

Mr Peter Sheridan

Mr Peter Sheridan

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Mr Russell Sloan

Mr Russell Sloan

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Ms Jayne Taggart

Ms Jayne Taggart

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Elected members

Mr Eddie Friel

Mr Eddie Friel

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Membership attendance

Membership attendance from 2016/17 - 2019/20


Terms of reference

  1. Considering and making recommendations on the appointment and reappointment of the external auditor, the audit fee and the provision of any non-audit services by the external auditor.
  2. Monitoring the effectiveness of the external audit service on an annual basis and subject to satisfactory performance re-appointing them for a further year.
  3. Advising on any questions of resignation or dismissal of the external auditor.
  4. Discussing the nature and scope of the audit with the external auditor if necessary before the audit commences
  5. Discussing any qualifications to the interim and final audits and any matters the auditor may wish to discuss (in the absence of management where necessary).
  6. Considering and making recommendations on the appointment and reappointment of the internal auditor and on the level of audit fees.
  7. Monitoring the effectiveness of the internal audit service on an annual basis and subject to satisfactory performance reappointing them for a further year.
  8. Ensuring that the resources made available for internal audit are sufficient to meet the institution’s needs.
  9. Reviewing the internal audit plan, using a risk based approach, considering major findings of internal audit investigations and management’s response and promoting co-ordination between the internal and external auditors.
  10. To receive regular updates on outstanding priority one recommendations from audit reports
  11. Keeping under review the effectiveness of internal control systems and in particular monitoring management responses to the external auditor’s annual report and internal audit reports and the implementation of agreed audit-based recommendations from whatever source.
  12. To receive and discuss with management, the external auditors and the internal auditors significant business risks and the processes established to identify, monitor, control and report such risks and to consider reports prepared by senior management on the operation of internal controls within the Ulster University Group, any significant risk management failures and management’s responses;
  13. Considering accounting policies and their interpretation and responding to any changes to or departures from those policies.
  14. Commenting on accounting or financial policies or other policies that may have an impact on the efficient and effective administration of the University including any limited companies.
  15. Ensuring that systems exist to provide timely and accurate information as required for the effective running of the University.
  16. Monitoring compliance with external regulations, the terms of the University’s financial memorandum with the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL), as advised by the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the University’s Charter and Statutes.
  17. To ensure  that the Annual Academic Assurance report addressees the areas covered by the assurance statements required by DfENI as part of the Annual Accountability Report  and provides a sound and comprehensive basis for a recommendation from Audit Committee to Council on the sign off of those statements.
  18. Ensuring that all significant losses have been properly investigated in accordance with the University’s Theft, Fraud and Corruption Response Plan and that the internal and external auditor, and appropriate authorities, have been informed.
  19. Ensuring that satisfactory arrangements are in place to promote economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the use of the University’s resources.
  20. Receiving any relevant reports from the National Audit Office, DEL, the Councils and other appropriate bodies.
  21. Considering the draft annual accounts and corporate governance statement in the presence of and taking into consideration the opinion of the external auditors.
  22. Keeping under review value for money developments internally or within the sector in the light of the University’s value for money strategy.
  23. Initiating special projects or reports on value for money issues and any other matters as it sees fit.
  24. Ensuring that satisfactory arrangements are in place for the identification, evaluation and management of the risks faced by the institution.
  25. Ensuring that satisfactory systems exist for public interest disclosure (whistleblowing).
  26. To receive annually, the updated Gifts Register, detailing gifts accepted and declined by members of staff
  27. Producing an annual report for the Council to be available in time to confirm approval of the accounts.
  28. Reporting

    1. To provide a report on the work of the Committee to each meeting of the University Council in a format to be determined by the Council.

    In reaching decisions the Committee will have due regard to their impact on, and implications for, the University’s commitment to ensuring equality of opportunity and good relations as outlined in its Equality Scheme, and associated policies, and where possible and practicable the Committee will ensure that its actions are proactive in this respect.