Agenda item

External Assessment - Peer Review Terms of Reference

Report of the Senior Finance Manager (Internal Audit)



8.1      The Senior Finance Manager (Internal Audit) submitted a report presenting the External Assessment-Peer Review Terms of Reference.


8.2      In introducing the report, Linda Hunter, Senior Finance Manager (Internal Audit), advised that the Public Sector Internal Audit Standards (PSIAS) introduced the requirement for an external assessment to be conducted of the Internal Audit service.  The requirement specified the assessment should be undertaken at least once every five years by a qualified, independent reviewer from outside of the organisation as part of an ongoing quality assurance and improvement programme.


8.3      Similar to the previous review, members of the Core Cities group have elected to adopt the internal self-assessment approach validated by an external peer reviewer, the key benefit to this approach was cost.  If the review was to be carried out by CIPFA it could cost approximately £30,000.  This approach would cost approximately £12,000 for work over a 5-day period.


8.4      The agreed schedule was-



·       Manchester review Birmingham

·       Bristol review Liverpool

·       Birmingham review Sheffield

·       Glasgow review Leeds

·       Leeds review Manchester

·       Sheffield review Nottingham

·       Nottingham review Bristol

·       Liverpool review Glasgow


8.5      Following the review, a report would be submitted to the Committee and Dave Phillips, Head of Strategic Finance/ Deputy Section 151 Officer would be the sponsor.


8.6      Councillor Ben Curran commented that he had natural scepticism around peer reviews and asked what reassurances could be given to the committee.  It was advised that the Local Governance Association (LGA) pushed peer reviews and the Head of Strategic Finance advised that the previous peer reviews had been very thorough. The review can be expensive if carried out by an external reviewer, but he did comment that the next review would be carried out by an independent external reviewer.


8.7      RESOLVED: - that the Committee – (1) endorse the Terms of Reference programme of work attached to the report in order to comply with professional best practice (including PSIAS) and (2) agrees and endorses that the Deputy Sector 151 Officer is the appropriate sponsor of the external assessment.

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