Audit Committee

Charter

The Chief Executive Officer has established an Audit Committee in compliance with section 45 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) and PGPA Rule section 17 Audit Committee for Commonwealth Entities.

Purpose

The committee is a sub-committee reporting to the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) established to assist the Chief Executive Officer discharge its responsibilities under the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals (Administration) Act 1992 and the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 in respect of financial reporting, performance reporting, risk oversight and management, internal control and compliance with relevant laws and policies.

The committee is not responsible for the executive management of these functions. The committee will engage with management in a constructive and professional manner in discharging its responsibilities and formulating its advice to the Chief Executive Officer.

Authority

The Chief Executive Officer authorises the committee, within its responsibilities, to:

  • obtain any information it requires from any official or external party (subject to any legal obligation to protect information)
  • discuss any matters with the ANAO, or other external parties (subject to confidentiality considerations)
  • request the attendance of any official at committee meetings
  • obtain legal or other professional advice at the APVMA’s expense, as considered necessary to meet its responsibilities.

Membership

The Audit Committee comprises four members, appointed by the Chief Executive Officer.

The Chief Executive Officer will appoint the Chair of the committee who shall not be the Chief Executive Officer or an official of the APVMA.

The committee is authorised to appoint a Deputy Chair who will act as chair in the absence of the Chair.

The person holding the position of Executive Director, Corporate Services, shall be an ex officio member of the committee.

The Chief Executive Officer may attend committee meetings, and when they elect to do so, will require copies of committee papers.

The Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Information Officer or other management representatives may attend meetings as advisers or observers, as determined by the Chair, but will not be members of the committee.

A representative(s) of the ANAO will be invited to attend meetings of the committee, as an observer.

Membership of the committee will be reviewed periodically (but at least every three years) by the Chief Executive Officer with the aim of ensuring an appropriate balance between continuity of membership, the contribution of fresh perspectives and a suitable mix of qualifications, knowledge, skills and experience.

The committee will adopt and maintain a program of induction, training and awareness-raising for its members, with the objective of enabling the committee to keep abreast of contemporary developments and leading practices in relation to its functions.

Functions

Financial reporting

  • Review the financial statements and provide advice to the Chief Executive Officer; (including recommending their signing by the Chief Executive Officer. In particular, the committee will:
    1. assess the APVMA’s compliance with accounting standards, including an assessment of the appropriateness of accounting policies and disclosures
    2. assess areas of significant judgement and financial statement balances that require estimation
    3. assess any significant changes to accounting policies and practices, (by May each year)
    4. review significant or unusual transactions, not covered by b) or c) above
    5. assess whether appropriate management action has been taken in response to any issues raised by the ANAO, including financial statement adjustments or revised disclosures.
  • Review the processes in place designed to ensure that financial information included in the APVMA’s annual report is consistent with the signed financial statements
  • Monitor the standard of financial information provided to the Chief Executive Officer
  • Discuss with the ANAO the auditor’s judgments about the adequacy of the APVMA’s accounting policies and the quality of the APVMA’s processes for the preparation of the APVMA’s financial statements.

Performance reporting

  • Consider any issues relating to the APVMA’s performance that the committee considers warrant review, or are referred to the committee by the Chief Executive Officer
  • Monitor the standard of non-financial performance information provided to the Chief Executive Officer
  • Review the proposed reporting of the APVMA’s performance to ensure that the information is consistent with the APVMA’s reported financial information.

Systems of risk oversight and management

  • Assess whether management has in place a current and sound enterprise risk management framework and associated procedures for effective identification and management of the APVMA’s business and financial risks, including fraud; and endorse the Risk Management Framework
  • Determine whether a sound and effective approach has been followed in managing the APVMA’s major risks, including those associated with individual projects, program implementation, and activities
  • Satisfy itself that management has assessed the impact of the APVMA’s enterprise risk management framework on the APVMA’s control environment
  • Monitor the adequacy of insurance cover for the APVMA
  • Monitor reports on fraud from APVMA management that outline any significant or systemic allegations of fraud, the status of any ongoing investigations and any changes to identified fraud risk in the APVMA
  • At least annually, commission and endorse an entity-wide assurance map that identifies the APVMA’s key assurance arrangements.

System of internal control

Internal controls framework

  • Assess whether management has in place comprehensive and relevant policies and procedures designed to maintain an effective internal control framework, including over external parties such as contractors and advisers
  • Determine whether management has appropriate processes in place to assess, at least once a year, whether key policies and procedures are complied with
  • Assess the adequacy of the APVMA’s information technology security arrangements

Delegations

  • Assess whether appropriate policies and supporting procedures are in place for the management and exercise of delegations.

Business continuity management

  • Determine whether a sound and effective approach has been followed in establishing the APVMA’s business continuity planning arrangements, including whether business continuity and disaster recovery plans are periodically updated and tested.

Ethical and lawful behaviour

  • Assess whether management has taken steps to embed a culture that promotes the proper use of Commonwealth resources and is committed to ethical and lawful behaviour.

Internal audit

  • Review and approve the Internal Audit charter
  • Review the proposed internal audit coverage, ensure the coverage is aligned with the APVMA’s key risks; and approve the Internal Audit Plan and internal audit budget
  • Review all audit reports and provide advice to the Chief Executive Officer on significant issues identified in audit reports and recommend action on issues raised, including identification and dissemination of good practice
  • Monitor management's coordination of the audit programs conducted by internal audit and other review functions
  • In consultation with management, review the performance of and approve the appointment of the internal audit service provider
  • Monitor management's implementation of internal audit recommendations.

Legislative and policy compliance

  • Assess the effectiveness of the system for monitoring the APVMA’s compliance with those laws, regulations and associated government policies that the entity must comply with
  • Assess where relevant, the APVMA’s compliance with International Conventions, particularly the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions
  • Determine whether management has appropriately considered legal and compliance risks as part of the APVMA’s enterprise risk management plan
  • Provide advice to the Chief Executive Officer regarding the issue of the APVMA’s annual Certificate of Compliance, or equivalent report.

Other functions

  • Undertake other activities related to its responsibilities as requested by the Chief Executive Officer.

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