Supporting Guidance for the Terms of Reference of the MEAC

Introduction

The Members Estimate Audit Committee (“The Committee”) was established on 14 June 2004  by the House of Commons Members Estimate Committee (“MEC”), following changes to the governance structure for the Members Estimate agreed by the House in January 2004.

Remit

The Committee pursues its objectives and fulfils its responsibilities on behalf of the MEC and, as it deems appropriate, shall draw any matters arising within these terms of reference to the attention of the MEC.   

Membership

The membership of the Committee shall be:

  • 3 MP members, including:
  • A Member of the Members Estimate Committee
  • A Member of the Finance & Services Committee
  • 3 External Members, appointed by the MEC

The Chairman shall be appointed by the MEC from amongst the external members of the Committee. 

A quorum will be three, with a minimum of one MP Member and one External Member.  External members shall declare their independence as appropriate.

In attendance will normally be:

  • Accounting Officer
  • Director of Finance
  • Director of Internal Audit
  • Representative of the external auditor

The Committee may invite other managers and staff to attend the Committee meetings, for all or part of the meetings, as they require.

The Private Secretary to the Clerk of the House will act as Secretary to the Committee.

Ability

With the agreement of the Accounting Officer, the Committee has the ability to investigate any activity within its Terms of Reference and request the co-operation and attendance of any employee of the House Service.  The Committee may request independent professional advice, if it considers this necessary to meet its objectives and responsibilities. Committee members should have confidential access, if required, to the Accounting Officer, Officers of the House and the external auditor.

Meetings

The Committee will usually meet four times a year, one of which will be dedicated to a review of the annual Resource Accounts.  Additional meetings can be called by the Chairman.

At least once a year the Chairman should meet privately with the Director of Internal Audit and a representative of the external auditor.

Reporting

The Committee will report annually, the report to be published with the Members Estimate Annual Report and Resource Accounts, and will be considered by the Accounting Officer in his preparation of the Annual Governance Statement.

A report of the Committee’s meetings will be sent to the Accounting Officer, the MEC and the House of Commons Management Board.

Minutes of Committee meetings will be published on the Parliamentary website once confirmed by the Chairman

Committee effectiveness

The Committee will periodically review its own effectiveness and report the results of this to the Accounting Officer.


 

Further information

The House of Commons Estimate Audit Committees leaflet (PDF PDF 887 KB)provides a quick guide to the work and membership of the Committee.