The role of the audit committee is to review the work of the internal audit unit, comprising completed audit reports, audit plans and programmes submitted to the Secretary General, and to consider other matters falling within its terms of reference which are determined by Statute (section 14A of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Acts 2003 to 2015).
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Members were appointed by the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission at its meeting on 29 July 2020 in accordance with section 14A of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission Act 2003, as amended.
- Member of the Commission [section 14A(3)(a)]
- Members of either House [section 14A(3)(b)]
- External members nominated by the Secretary General [section 14A(3)(c)]
Mr. Pat McLoughlin (Chair)
- Member of the staff of the Houses of the Oireachtas Service nominated by the Secretary General [section 14A(3)(c)]
Mr. Charles Hearne Principal Officer, Houses of the Oireachtas Service
- Functions of the audit committee
- Advise the Secretary General, as CEO and accounting officer of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission and head of the Houses of the Oireachtas Service, on financial matters relating to his or her functions, including public service financial policies, procurement, expenditure control, asset management, risk management, financial reporting, internal audit and internal controls.
- Advise the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission on matters of corporate governance relating to its functions.
- Meet at least four times annually and to report to the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission annually on its activities.
- Terms of reference of the audit committee
The terms of reference of the audit committee are derived from section 10 of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission (Amendment) Act 2009.
(1) The Commission shall establish an audit committee (‘committee’) to perform the functions specified in this section
Appointment of membership
(2) As soon as may be following the appointment of the ordinary members of the Commission under section 8(3) [of the 2003 Act], the Commission shall appoint the membership of the committee.
(3) The committee shall consist of the following persons:
(a) one member of the Commission,
(b) at least one but not more than 3 members of either House of the Oireachtas who are not members of the Commission,
(c) at least 2 but not more than 3 other persons nominated by the Secretary General who are professionally qualified in finance or accounting or have experience of auditing and who are not, and have never been, members of the Houses of the Oireachtas, and
(d) one member of the staff of the Service nominated by the Secretary General, not being a staff member with direct responsibility for financial functions.
(4) The quorum for a meeting of the committee shall be 3.
(5) The Commission shall designate one of the persons appointed under subsection (3)(c) as the chairperson of the committee.
(6) (a) The members of the committee appointed under subsection (3)(a) and (b) shall hold office for the duration of their membership of the Commission or of the relevant House of the Oireachtas, as the case may be.
(b) The members of the committee appointed under subsection (3)(c) and (d) shall hold office until their successors are appointed.
(7) Subject to subsection (6), the members appointed under subsection (3)(c) shall hold office on such other terms and conditions as may be determined by the Commission.
Removal of member
(8) A member of the committee may be removed from office by the Commission at any time for stated reasons.
Audit plans and reports
(9) The Secretary General shall ensure that the committee is provided with all of the Commission’s audit plans and reports.
(10) The committee shall:
(a) advise the Secretary General on financial matters relating to his or her functions,
(b) advise the Commission on matters of corporate governance relating to its functions, and
(c) report in writing at least once a year to the Commission on its activities in the previous year.
(11) The committee’s duties under subsection (10)(a) include advising on the following:
(a) the proper implementation of public service guidelines on financial matters,
(b) compliance with section 22 of the Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1866, section 19 of the Comptroller and Auditor General (Amendment) Act 1993 and any other obligations imposed by law relating to financial matters,
(c) the appropriateness, efficiency and effectiveness of the Commission’s procedures relating to:
(i) public procurement,
(ii) seeking sanction for expenditure and complying with that sanction,
(iii) acquiring, keeping custody of and disposing of assets,
(iv) risk management,
(v) financial reporting,
(vi) internal audit,
(vii) internal controls, and
(d) the form of accounts of the Commission for approval by the Minister under section 14 [of the 2003 Act]
(12) The report of the committee under subsection (10)(c) may be published with the annual report of the Commission under section 6 [of the 2003 Act].
(13) The committee shall meet at least 4 times in each year and may invite a person who has responsibility for internal audits or financial matters within the staff of the Service, or any other person it considers appropriate, to attend specific meetings.
Declan Bale | Assistant Principal
Audit Committee Secretariat
Houses of the Oireachtas
(01) 618 4885