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GPWG Terms of reference

GOVERNANCE & PERFORMANCE WORKING GROUP
TERMS OF REFERENCE

    ITEM 4

All duties shall be reported to the Authority as appropriate. 

Audit Duties:

To provide independent assurance of the adequacy of the governance and risk
management framework, the associated control environment and the independent scrutiny of the Authority’s financial performance to the extent that it affects the Authority’s exposure to risk and weakens the control.

Audit Activity:

  • To ensure an effective interface is in place with external accrediting bodies;
  • To comment on the scope and depth of external audit work and to ensure it gives value for money;
  • To recommend the commissioning of work from internal and external audit;
  • To consider specific reports as agreed with the internal and external auditors;
  • Following receipt by the Fire & Rescue Authority, to consider in detail the recommendations of the external auditor’s annual letter, the annual governance report, the annual report and opinion from Internal Audit and other relevant audit reports;
  • To consider the annual internal audit programme (from Derby City), to receive reports and to monitor against agreed progress 
  • To consider the summary of internal audit activity (actual and proposed) and the level of assurance it can give over the Authority’s corporate governance arrangements;
  • To consider reports and recommendations dealing with the management and performance of the providers of internal audit services and the annual review of internal audit.

Governance and Risk Management Framework:

  • To consider statutory consultation documents and any consequential implications for the Authority with respect to governance arrangements, corporate risk management and business continuity;
  • To maintain an overview of the effectiveness of the Authority’s constitution in respect of committee arrangements, contract procedure rules, financial regulations, schemes of delegation, officer codes of conduct and employees’ behaviour and make recommendations to the Authority for improvement;
  • To monitor effectiveness and outcomes relating to Authority policies on Whistle blowing, Anti-fraud and Anti-corruption strategy, external Complaints Procedure, employee Complaints Procedure, employee Grievance Policy and Procedure, Dignity at Work Policy, and Discipline Policy and Procedure;
  • To oversee the production of the Authority’s Annual Governance Statement, evaluating assurances of the effectiveness of arrangements for corporate governance;
  • To monitor the application of the Local Government Pension Scheme and Firefighters’ Pension Schemes, including retirements and dismissals made on medical grounds.
  • To evaluate the corporate risk upon the Fire and Rescue Authority’s statutory duties and monitor the effective development and operation of risk management and business continuity in the Authority;
  • To maintain the register of corporate risks and the corporate business continuity planning framework and review them at least six monthly;
  • To seek assurance on the governance arrangements of partnerships.

Scrutiny Duties:

  • To scrutinise progress against the Service Plan, Community Risk Management Plan, and statutory and external accreditation assessment requirements) through the effective performance management of the corporate improvement plan;
  • To scrutinise relevant qualitative and quantitative performance information;
  • To consider the sufficiency of Service plans to deliver improved outcomes;
  • To commission and oversee in-depth reviews on thematic areas (support for undertaking reviews will be from relevant officer working groups);
  • To identify and report on areas of strong / weak performance together with evidence of reasons why, making recommendations where relevant to the Fire & Rescue Authority for improvement;
  • To receive reports from the FRA and WGs which may include the requirement for closer scrutiny.

Accounts:

  • To review the annual statement of accounts. Specifically, to consider and challenge whether appropriate accounting policies have been followed and whether there are concerns arising from the financial statements or from the audit that need to be brought to the attention of the Authority;
  • To consider the external auditor’s report to those charged with governance on issues arising from the audit of the accounts.