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Award Winners

We are pleased to announce that the Audit Yorkshire and 360 Assurance Events and Publications Team have won the Public Finance Award 2020 for Excellence in Public Sector Audit.

Taken from the Public Finance Awards Website:

As internal audit providers, both 360 Assurance and Audit Yorkshire take a proactive approach to supporting their clients in enhancing and improving their governance, risk management and internal controls.

This is key to the success of any organisation. A forward looking audit committee, with a direct influence on board-level activities and a role ensuring there is scrutiny and challenge within the wider organisation, is pivotal.

Following extensive reviews of governance arrangements across 360 Assurance and Audit Yorkshire’s client bases, it became clear that, faced with the pace of change and increasingly complex stakeholder arrangements, audit committees would benefit from a targeted programme of support.

It was also recognised that there existed differing levels of knowledge and confidence among clients’ NEDs/lay members around the role of the audit committee and its relationship with other board/governing body committees.

Initially, the partnership decided to schedule quarterly events for client NEDs/lay members. They decided to link the programme with the committees – the first event being primarily focused on the audit committee.

Having determined the structure, the team identified the pieces of work that could inform or result from each event. At the first event, the former chairman of the Good Governance Institute was commissioned to support 360 Assurance and Audit Yorkshire in developing an Audit Committee Maturity Matrix, used to facilitate self-assessment across 15 governance areas.

This matrix has now been used by a number of clients to support their audit committee self-assessment process. Following on from the success of this maturity matrix, the partnership has developed a Quality Improvement Internal Audit Framework, providing a similar focus. It also identified benchmarking that could be undertaken to help inform events.

Audit committees can now easily reflect on their own internal arrangements using our messages and prompts on common issues, which in turn helps them reassess their own arrangements.

The programme is ongoing, with events scheduled throughout the year. Feedback is obtained following each event, which is combined with horizon scanning, to continually improve the events and ensure the topics are those most pertinent to clients.

As part of the NHS, the two organisations recognise that, when initiatives work well and have proven benefits, there is a responsibility to share wider. They have done this by making all the publications available on their websites.

Judges’ comments: “Accompanied by strong support evidence on the impact of the work, the initiatives have encouraged good joint working and helped created the right environment to improving audit.”

For other award winners, please visit the website here: https://publicfinanceawards.co.uk/2020-winners-2/