As part of our duty to fulfil its governance obligations to the community, an Audit Committee was established in 1996 in accordance with Section 139 of the Local Government Act 1989 and operates in accordance with the best practice guidelines for Audit Committees. The Audit Committee reports to Council as an Advisory Committee of Council, and now known as the Audit and Risk Management Committee.
The primary role of the Audit and Risk Management Committee is to provide an independent review of our financial and management systems and reporting responsibilities, and to ensure compliance with statutory rules and regulations. It also oversees an effective and efficient audit system both internally and externally. The Audit and Risk Management Committee provides an effective means of communication between the external auditor, internal audit process, management and the Council.
The Audit and Risk Management Committee consists of 5 members: 3 independent members and 2 Councillors. The Councillors are appointed for a 2 year period. Independent members are appointed for a 3 year term and are eligible to be reappointed after the expiry of their term. The Chairperson of the Committee is appointed on an annual basis from the independent membership of the Committee by Council at its Annual Meeting.
The Audit and Risk Management Committee meets 5 times per annum.
The current membership of the Audit and Risk Management Committee is:
- Mr Brian Keane (current Chairman)
- Ms Lisa Woolmer
- Mr Mick Ulbrick
- Cr Rob Grinter
- Cr Sonia Castelli
The Chief Executive Officer, Director Corporate Services, Manager Finance, Manager Governance and Internal Auditors attend all meetings by invitation, to assist the Committee, and do not have voting rights. The External Auditor attends a Committee meeting to present to the external audit plan and the presentation of the audited financial, standard and performance Statements. The opportunity is provided for the Audit Committee to meet with the auditors without management at each meeting.
Matters commonly discussed at the Audit Committee meetings include:
- internal audit reviews
- external audit reports
- implementation status of audit recommendations
- financial statements
- reports relating to governance, legislative compliance and information technology
- risk management issues
- insurance matters
- procurement matters.
The Internal Audit function is provided by Crowe Horwath who provides independent assurance regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of governance, risk management and internal control processes across the organisation.
The appointment of the Internal Auditor was undertaken as a result of a public competitive tendering process in June 2014. The Internal Auditor was appointed in June 2014 for a term of 3 years with an option to extend for 1 year.
The Audit and Risk Management Committee operates within a charter which is reviewed every year. The most recent review of the charter was undertaken in March 2018. The charter outlines the duties and responsibilities of the Audit and Risk Management Committee.