Terms of Reference - Members Estimate Audit Committee

Remit

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

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. 

Objectives
The Committee has been established to support the Accounting Officer in discharging his responsibilities under the Members Estimate, particularly with regard to the maintenance of an effective system of internal control. The Members Estimate contains financial assistance to Opposition parties (Short money); the Members Fund; ICT maintenance and equipment depreciation; training for Members and their staff; disability assistance; insurance and contributions to the Members’ pension scheme (the Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund (PCPF).

The Committee’s objective is to give assurance to the Accounting Officer on:

The effectiveness of the system of governance, risk management and internal control (referred to collectively as the “system of internal control”)

The integrity of the annual Resource Accounts

The work of the internal audit service

The external audit by the external auditor

Other matters as may be referred to it by either the Accounting Officer or the Members Estimate Committee

Responsibilities
Governance, Risk Management and Internal Control

The Committee is responsible for monitoring governance, risk management and internal control (“the system of internal control”).  This monitoring will include:

the effectiveness of the design and operation of the system of internal control;

the development and operation of the system of risk management, in accordance with the overall risk management policy;

the level and range of assurances on the management of risks; and

the adequacy and implementation of proposed management actions to improve the effectiveness of internal controls.

Annual Resource Accounts

The Committee is responsible for reviewing the annual Resource Accounts before their submission to the Accounting Officer.  This review will include:

  • any significant changes in the accounting policies or treatments;
  • major financial reporting judgements or estimates;
  • consistency of the Annual Governance Statement;
  • resolution of any matters raised by the external auditor; and
  • significant adjustments resulting from the audit by the external auditor.


Internal Audit

The Committee is responsible for monitoring the work of the internal audit service. This includes:

  • involvement in the appointment of the Director of Internal Audit and the audit partner;
  • agreement to the annual internal audit plan and monitoring of progress;
  • consideration of the results and findings from internal audit work and the adequacy of management responses; and
  • consideration of the Director of Internal Audit’s annual report and opinion.


External Audit

The Committee is responsible for monitoring and reviewing the work of the external audit.  This review will include:

  • recommendations on the appointment and scope of work of the external auditor;
  • consideration of the external audit strategy;
  • the results of the external audit work, including any reports to those charged with responsibilities for governance, and the adequacy of management responses;
  • representations made by management to the external auditor; and
  • annual review of the external auditor’s independence and effectiveness.


Relationship with the Administration Estimate Audit Committee

The Committee will rely upon the work of the Administration Estimate Audit Committee (AEAC) on matters that relate to the overall governance, risk management and internal control of the House of Commons Administration, and concentrate its own work on those parts of its responsibilities that specifically relate to matters under the Members Estimate. Where relevant, the Committee will take into account the results of the AEAC’s deliberations in drawing conclusions on its own work.

Supporting guidance on administrative matters for the Terms of Reference of the Members Estimate Audit Committee.

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.