Practitioners' Guide 2022 – more interesting than you thought
AUTHOR: ELEANOR GREENE, SECRETARY TO THE INTERNAL AUDITORS FORUM
Last year the Internal Audit Forum (IAF) — at that time comprised about 30 of us from across England and Wales — revamped section four of the Practitioners' Guide to make it more usable for all internal auditors.
In late 2021, JPAG asked the forum (which now numbers nearly 50 of us) to have a look at section five – the non-statutory guidance for clerks and RFOs.
This is the section of the guide that leads councils through the process of preparing and taking their AGAR and its supporting papers to the council and then getting through the internal and external audit process without a hitch.
We took consultation and feedback from stakeholders across the sector and have produced a document that is hopefully more useful to councils.
The whole chapter has been reorganised to make it follow through with the form and clear guidance included for every box and detailed definitions where needed.
Updated guidance about the publication of exemption declarations and links to legislation such as the Freedom of Information Act covering what every council has to put on its website has also been added.
Hopefully, clerks will be able to find the answers to their queries at an early stage of the AGAR process.
This 2022 guide will be compulsory from next year but can be used from this April 2022.
Over the summer the IAF will be launching a website that will include a map and directory of members to enable councils up and down the land to find the right Internal Auditor to work with their council.
This year's AGAR deadline is 30June.
Section one of the AGAR provides assurance that the numbers in Section 2 can be relied on so has to be minuted as approved first.
Section five of the Practitioners' Guide is only 20 pages.
Give it a read, check that your council have understood the requirements and all will be well.
At some stage, we may even find out the collective noun for parish internal auditors.