Joint Independent Audit and Ethics Committee
Statement of Purpose:
There will be one joint independent audit and ethics committee, comprising two sessions, one for audit issues and one for ethics issues.
To provide independent assurance on the adequacy of the risk management framework and the associated control environment, independent scrutiny of processes in order to get re-assurance regarding the organisation's financial and non-financial performance to the extent that it affects exposure to risk and weakens the control environment, and to oversee the financial reporting process.
To provide independent assurance to the PCC and Chief Constable that ethics and integrity are embedded within West Yorkshire Police and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC). To scrutinise the ethical governance and complaints arrangements in order to ensure that issues are being handled expeditiously and following due process.
The Committee will not:
- Review operational issues or individual cases. However, it may have regard to themes emerging from operational issues.
- Advise on individual complaints made against individual police officers or members of police staff
It will discharge responsibilities by;
- Promoting the highest standards of ethical conduct.
- Provide a focus for education into ethical issues.
- Providing a source of support to others.
- Support compliance with organisational values.
- Promote confidence in the community.
The committee will review its own effectiveness on an annual basis. It will publish an annual report on the work and findings of the Joint Independent Audit and Ethics Committee that the communities of West Yorkshire can have confidence in.
Terms of Reference
1. Audit Session
Internal Control and Governance Environment
To support the PCC, Chief Constable and statutory officers in ensuring that effective governance are in place and functioning efficiently and effectively, and making any recommendations for improvement.
To review any issue referred to it by the statutory officers of the PCC and Chief Constable and make recommendations as appropriate.
To consider and comment upon the Scheme of Consent/ Scheme of Delegation.
To consider and comment upon any policy or strategy relating to sponsorship.
To review the effectiveness of internal control systems and provide assurance regarding such systems.
To scrutinise the annual governance statements prior to publication.
To review and monitor the effectiveness of PCC and Chief Constable policies on fraud, irregularity and corruption, including "whistle blowing".
To consider and comment upon any policy or strategy regarding commissioning.
To consider and comment upon any proposals regarding the giving of grants.
To ensure that an effective system of scrutiny of the Treasury Management Strategy and policies is in place.
To review and monitor items of novel, contentious or repercussive expenditure.
To commission assurance work (eg specialist advice or audit).
To review compliance with policies relating to declarations of interest, gifts and hospitality.
To consider and comment upon the assurance framework.
Corporate Risk Movement
To consider and comment upon the strategic risk management processes.
To provide assurance that organisational risks are being effectively managed.
Internal and External Audit
To consider the internal audit strategy and annual plan, and make recommendations as appropriate.
To consider the head of internal audit's annual report and opinion, and a summary of internal audit activity (actual and proposed) and the level of assurance it can give over corporate governance arrangements, and make recommendations as appropriate.
To receive and review summaries of internal audit reports, and make recommendations as appropriate.
To consider a report from internal audit on agreed recommendations not implemented within a reasonable timescale and make recommendations as appropriate.
To review the effectiveness of internal audit.
To consider the external auditor's annual plan, annual audit letter and relevant specific reports as agreed with the external auditor, and make recommendations as appropriate.
To review the effectiveness of external audit.
To consider and comment upon any proposals affecting the provision of the external audit service, including the level of fees charged.
2. Ethics Session
Ethical Governance Environment
To advise the PCC and the Chief Constable on the effectiveness of the embedding of the Code of Ethics and its on-going influence on service delivery.
To advise the PCC and the Chief Constable on the progression of a transparent ethical framework.
Process Evaluation and Review
To undertake regular and structured reviews of:
- The processes and policies in place around ethics and integrity;
- The internal ethics and integrity committee processes and findings;
- Ethical issues arising from the good governance group meetings;
- Processes around the handling of public complaints, misconduct and grievances to recommend best practice, to identify necessary organisational learning and to report any recommendations to the PCC and the Chief Constable so they may take appropriate action;
- Specific ethical considerations around undercover work and payments to CHIS;
- Audit items arising from an ethical perspective;
- Anti-fraud, corruption and whistleblowing policies and arrangements, and their operation in the OPCC and the Force;
- Trends arising from the FOI panels as appropriate.
To receive reports from and make recommendations around ethics and integrity to the Commissioner's Monitoring Officer in the event of the Commissioner, Chief Constable or their staff committing or proposing to act unlawfully.
To receive reviews from Her Majesty's Inspector of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS), the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and any other relevant review body, which include ethical issues relevant to the PCC or Force to ensure full consideration has been given to appropriate action arising from the recommendations and monitor implementation.
To consider any ethical matters referred by the Commissioner or by the Chief Constable and influence change to policy.
Trevor Lake (Chair)