The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) sets the requirements in relation to internal audit in the public sector. In November 2012, DPER issued Revised Internal Audit Standards for Central Government which determined that the Institute of Internal Auditors International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing (IIA Standards) would apply across all Government Departments. Under standard 1300 of the IIA Standards (Quality Assurance and Improvement Programme), Internal Audit Units are required to carry out external assessments at least once every five years. The purpose of the external assessment is to assess conformance with the IIA Standards and assessments may be accomplished either through a full external assessment or a self-assessment with independent external validation.
In July 2017, my Department's Internal Audit Unit carried out a self-assessment of their activities which concluded that the unit generally conforms to the IIA Standards. Generally conforms means that the relevant structures, policies, and procedures of the activity, as well as the processes by which they are applied, comply with the requirements of the individual Standard or element of the Code of Ethics in all material respects.
In August 2017 my Department engaged Crowe Horwath to provide the required independent external validation. The purpose of the validation was to verify the assertions made in the self-assessment concerning adequate fulfilment of the internal audit activity and its conformity to IIA Standards. In their Independent Validation Statement, Crowe Horwath concurred with the results of Internal Audit Unit’s conclusion in the self-assessment that the activity generally conforms to the IIA’s Standards.