The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2003 require every local authority to conduct a review at least once a year of the effectiveness of its systems of internal control and shall include a statement on internal control, prepared in accordance with proper practices. The County council has delegated this responsibility to the ‘Responsible Financial Officer’ (the Head of Finance)
The Accounts and Audit regulations 2004 require every local authority to maintain an adequate and effective internal audit. The following regulations apply:
8.1 The Head of Finance shall maintain an adequate and effective internal audit of the activities of the schools maintained by the Authority. The Head of Finance's representative(s) shall have authority to enter at all times on any premises or land used by the school and to have access to all correspondence, documents, books or other records of any employee of the Authority or school Governing Body and appertaining in any way to the activities of the Authority. The Head of Finance shall be entitled to require from the school Governing Body and from employees of the Authority or school Governing Body such explanation as he/she considers necessary to establish the correctness of any matter under examination. The Head of Finance shall have the authority to require any employee of the Authority or school governing body to produce cash, stores, or other Authority property under his/her control.
8.2 The Head of Finance shall have regard to any relevant professional guidelines and any audit standards issued by the Auditing Practices Board of the Consultative Committee of Accountancy Bodies.
8.3 The Head of Finance and the Head of Legal Services shall be notified immediately by school Governors, Headteachers or other staff, as appropriate, of all financial irregularities or suspected irregularities, or any circumstances which may suggest the possibility of irregularities in the exercise of any of the school's financial functions. Such communications may be oral initially but must be confirmed promptly in writing and an acknowledgement of receipt obtained.
8.4 The Head of Finance shall determine the scope of any internal enquiries or investigations, subject to consultation with the Head of Legal Services and the Director of Education.
8.5 The Head of Finance and the Head of Legal Services, in consultation with the Director of Education shall decide whether any matter under investigation should be referred to the police and take recovery action as appropriate on such matters.
8.6 Each school Governing Body and Headteacher shall take steps to minimise the risks of financial irregularities occurring.