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Audit Committee

Find out more about UCL's Audit Committee, including terms of reference, membership, meetings and minutes.

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Terms of reference

Audit Committee has been appointed by the Council principally to form an opinion on UCL's internal control framework, and report to the Council on the adequacy and effectiveness of UCL's arrangements for:

  • Risk management, control and governance;
  • Financial reporting (i.e. the integrity of UCL's financial reporting arrangements, including the corporate governance statement and the statement of Council members' responsibilities as reported in the annual financial statements);
  • Economy, efficiency and effectiveness (Value for Money);
  • Data quality.

The Audit Committee will meet at least four times each financial year. Members will meet privately (and separately) with the Internal Auditors and the External Auditors once each year. The Internal Auditors or the External Auditors may request a meeting if they consider it necessary.

The membership of Audit Committee will be five members, at least four of whom will be members of Council. No more than one of the Council members may be internal. 

The quorum of Audit Committee will be three members.

Subject to any general or particular direction that may from time to time be given by Council, the Audit Committee is charged by Council:

  1. To consider the arrangements for the provision of UCL’s internal and external audit services.
  2. To recommend to Council the appointment of the Internal Auditor, approve their related fees and receive advice on the provision of any non-audit services by the Internal Auditor.
  3. To consider and approve annually the Internal Auditor’s Internal Audit Plan for the forthcoming year.
  4. To receive periodic and annual reports from the Internal Auditor on, inter alia, any major internal control weaknesses arising from internal audit investigations; progress in the completion of planned audits and Management’s response thereon; and subsequent internal audit follow-ups.
  5. To recommend to Council the appointment of the External Auditor, approve the annual audit fee and receive advice on the provision of any non-audit services by the External Auditor.
  6. To consider the nature and scope of the annual audit by the External Auditor.
  7. To consider the External Auditor’s Management Letter on the draft Annual Financial Statements, prior to their submission to Council, and UCL management’s response to any significant accounting, auditing or internal control issues included within it.
  8. In its review of the draft Annual Financial Statements, the Audit Committee will be primarily concerned with the process of drawing up the accounts. This will include control and accounting issues, including the accounting policies, with particular interest in the following elements: the External Audit Report and Opinion; any relevant issue raised in the External Auditors Management Letter; the Corporate Governance Statement and the Statement of Council Members' Responsibilities; and any other audit related matters. (Matters of primary concern to the Finance Committee will include accounting principles and their application, financial disclosure and accounts adjustments, as well as financial strategy, planning, and performance.)
  9. To receive and consider regular reports on UCL's progress in implementing the “schedule of audit recommendations”, as provided by the External Auditors in their Audit Report. The Audit Report, and UCL management's response thereon, must be forwarded to the Office for Students (OfS) in December each year.
  10. To monitor the performance and effectiveness of external and internal audit, including co-ordination between the two audit functions.
  11. To consider, on advice from the Internal Auditor, whether satisfactory arrangements are in place to promote economy, efficiency and effectiveness in UCL.
  12. To confirm (and approve any proposed changes) at the first meeting of each session UCL's Fraud Policy. On completion of an investigation involving significant losses (as defined in the OfS Audit Code of Practice), the Chief Operating Officer will make a full report to the Audit Committee, to provide assurance that: all significant losses have been properly investigated in accordance with UCL's Fraud Policy; that the police have been notified (in appropriate circumstances); and the Provost has notified the OfS of attempted, suspected or actual frauds or irregularities in excess of £25,000, as required by the OfS Terms and Conditions of Funding for Higher Education Institutions (paragraph 39).
  13. To monitor the effectiveness of UCL's Policy on Public Interest Disclosure ('Whistleblowing') through receiving reports on the outcome of all completed investigations.
  14. To keep under review the effectiveness of the risk management arrangements, including monitoring the strategy for implementing UCL's Risk Register. To receive regular progress reports from the relevant UCL officers on its implementation, including an annual report which, following consideration by Audit Committee, will be submitted to the Council with the Audit Committee's own Annual Report and the Internal Auditor’s Annual Report.
  15. To receive any relevant reports from the National Audit Office, the OfS, or any other source, as appropriate.
  16. To present an annual report to the Provost and the Council in November each year, for forwarding after their consideration to the OfS in December each year, on the work of the Committee. This report will be considered by the Council before the Members’ Responsibility Statement in the Annual Financial Statements is signed.
  17. The Audit Committee's Annual Report will include a review of: (i) the External Auditor's Management Letter; (ii) the Internal Auditor’s Annual Report (also to be forwarded to the Council, and to the OfS); (iii) any OfS Audit Service evaluation; (iv) UCL's risk management strategy and process, and its pursuit of VFM; (v) any key issues considered by the Committee in the preceding year; (vi) any significant issues arising since the year-end up to the date of preparing the Committee’s Annual Report; and (vii) the management and quality assurance of data submitted to HESA, the Student Loans Company, the OfS (including compliance with Condition F4 of the OfS Regulatory Framework), Research England, and other bodies, and provide the Committee's opinion on UCL's governance arrangements, internal control systems, the effectiveness of the risk management strategy, the arrangements for promoting economy, efficiency and effectiveness, and data quality.
  18. To monitor UCL's processes for compliance with Condition F3 of the OfS Regulatory Framework.
  19. To submit minutes of each of its meetings to Council.

Membership

  • The quorum of Audit Committe will be three members.
  • [ ] indicates that member’s second or subsequent appearance in the committee’s membership.
  • The number in ( ) indicates length of continuous service in years, up to and including the 2019-20 session. Length of service is not indicated for ex officio, student members or observers.

Appointed members

Four Members of Council, including at least three external members, one of whom to be Chair:

  • Mr Dominic Blakemore (5) (Chair) [4]
  • Professor Annette Dolphin (1)
  • Mr Justin Turner (3)
  • Mr Turlogh O'Brien (3)

Co-opted members

  • Ms Mariette Davis (-)

Secretary

  • Mr Nick McGhee

Meetings dates 2021-22

  • Friday 15 October 2021, 2.00pm
  • Tuesday 16 November 2021, 9.30am
  • Wednesday 30 March 2022, 9.00am
  • Monday 13 June 2022, 9.00am

Minutes of meetings are confidential to the committee and are not available online.