Dalhousie University supports Internal Audit Services, an independent, objective, assurance function, as a service to its Administration and Board of Governors.
Internal Audit Services:
- provides objective, quality assurance to the Board of Governors’ Audit Committee on the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes
- assists members of the university in meeting their objectives to ensure:
- Dalhousie achieves its strategic objectives and goals
- Dalhousie's assets are safeguarded
- Dalhousie complies with laws, regulations, contracts, and policies
- The integrity and reliability of Dalhousie’s financial, student, and operational information
- advises members of the university on how to improve their risk management, control, and governance processes
Role of the Director of Internal Audit Services
The Director of Internal Audit Services is accountable to and has unrestricted access to the Audit Committee of Dalhousie’s Board of Governors to maintain independence. The Director reports audit matters in summary form to Dalhousie’s President and Chair of the Audit Committee. The Director reports administratively to the Vice-President Finance and Administration.
Internal Audit Services has the authority to audit all functions and thus has full, free, unrestricted access to all records, systems, physical properties and personnel relevant to the activities under audit.
The Director of Internal Audit Services is accountable to the Audit Committee of Dalhousie’s Board of Governors to report:
- Semiannually, or more often if necessary:
- an assessment of the adequacy and effectiveness of Dalhousie’s risk management, control and governance processes.
- the status and results of the annual audit plan and sufficiency of audit resources.
- the internal audit plan for the committee’s approval.
- Significant issues related to Dalhousie’s risk management, control and governance processes, potential improvements to these processes and progress on these issues through to resolution.
The Director has no authority over and is not responsible for the activities or departments audited. Audits do not relieve other members of Dalhousie from the responsibilities assigned to them. The Director and members of Internal Audit Services are not authorized to perform operational duties for Dalhousie or its affiliates.
The Director of Internal Audit Services is responsible to:
- Execute audit activities in accordance with the Institute of Internal Auditors Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing.
- Establish standards and guidelines for managing and carrying out internal audit services.
- Develop annual, risk-based plans to determine the priorities of the internal audit activity, consistent with Dalhousie’s objectives and goals and provide it to the Audit Committee for approval.
- Carry out the approved annual audit plan.
- Communicate audit progress, results and advice on the effectiveness of risk, control and governance processes in a timely, professional and effective manner both verbally and written to those responsible for the activity.
- Report on the appropriateness, and effectiveness of corrective actions for significant audit findings.
- Facilitate risk, control and governance assessments.
- Maintain a flexible audit process that allows resources to be shifted to adapt to changing institutional priorities.
- Advise the Chair of the Audit Committee of Internal Audit’s involvement in significant, special, priority projects that are outside of the audit plan.
- Work with the external auditors in their execution of the annual financial statement assurance process and ensure full audit coverage through joint planning and effective communication.
- Facilitate the Internal Assessment of Administrative Units.
- Investigate suspected fraudulent, illegal or non-compliant activities, engaging University’s Legal Counsel, specialists and management as appropriate and advising the Audit Committee of the outcome.
- Ensure sufficient and appropriate audit resources are available to carry out the planned audit activities.
This Terms of Reference supersedes all previous terms of reference related to Dalhousie University Internal Audit.