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The University Council

Purpose

To oversee and make recommendation to Council as appropriate on matters concerning risk management, control and governance (including ensuring the probity of the financial statements and the effective management and quality assurance of data submitted to funding bodies) and for the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the institution’s activities.

Terms of Reference

1. To ensure that suitable arrangements are in place for the monitoring of the University’s:

  • risk management, control and governance arrangements
  • data submissions to funding bodies
  • promotion of value for money as set out in the Office for Students terms and conditions

and provide an opinion on the adequacy and effectiveness of these arrangements in an annual report to Council and the Vice-Chancellor.

2. To make recommendation to Council on the appointment of the external auditors, the audit fee, the provision of any non-audit services by the external auditors and any questions of resignation or dismissal of the external auditors.

3. To review with the external auditors, before the audit begins, the nature and scope of the audit.

4. To consider with the external auditors any issues arising from the interim and final audits, including a review of the management letter incorporating management responses, and any other matters the external auditors may wish to discuss (in the absence of management where necessary).

5. To consider and make recommendation to Council on the appointment and terms of engagement of the internal audit service (and the head of internal audit, if applicable), the audit fee, the provision of any non-audit services by the internal auditors and any questions of resignation or dismissal of the internal auditors.

6. To review the internal auditors’ audit risk assessment and strategy; to consider major findings of internal audit investigations and management's response; and to oversee co-ordination between the internal and external auditors. The committee will ensure that the resources made available for internal audit are sufficient to meet the institution’s needs (or make a recommendation to the Council as appropriate).

7. To review the internal auditors' annual report.

8. To monitor the implementation of agreed audit-based recommendations, from whatever source.

9. To ensure that all significant breaches of control, including but not limited to financial losses, have been properly investigated and that the internal and external auditors, and where appropriate the OfS accounting officer, have been informed.

10. To oversee the institution’s policy on fraud and irregularity, including being notified of any action taken under that policy.

11. To receive any relevant reports from the National Audit Office, Office for Students and other organisations.

12. To report annually on the performance and effectiveness of external and internal auditors, including any matters affecting their objectivity, and to recommend to Council concerning their reappointment, where appropriate.

13. To ensure, in the event of the merger or dissolution of the institution, that the necessary actions are completed, including arranging for a final set of financial statements to be completed and signed.

14. To monitor the schedule and outcome of academic reviews and audits conducted under the auspices of the Senate, with a view to avoiding duplication of effort in determining the schedule of business audits.

15. To ensure that suitable arrangements are in place for the management of health, safety and wellbeing, including consideration of relevant reports prepared by management and recommendation of adoption of such reports by Council.

16. To consider and make recommendation to Council on the approval of the annual TRAC and TRACT returns.