HM Treasury, as the GIAA’s sponsoring government department, conducted a Tailored Review of the Agency over several months, with input from a wide range of customers and external stakeholders. Tailored Reviews are detailed evaluations of public bodies that are commissioned by the Cabinet Office, usually once every five years, to ensure that those organisations are fit for purpose, set up correctly, well governed, and that they observe high standards of transparency and efficiency. As the GIAA was established in 2015, this was the Agency’s first Tailored Review.
Some of the Review’s conclusions include:
- the findings have reinforced the ongoing need for the GIAA
- due to the nature of the work and the need for the GIAA to be able to operate without fear or favour, it is paramount that it remains at arm’s length from central government
- the work of the GIAA is underpinned by exemplary governance arrangements that surpass the Cabinet Office recommended models and common practice across other arm’s length bodies (ALBs)
- GIAA ensures value for money by providing a shared centre for excellence that removes the need to replicate internal audit services for individual government departments
- the review highlights opportunities where GIAA can continue to work with HM Treasury, as its sponsoring department, towards independent full cost recovery of its direct services in the future
- the GIAA continues to influence policies and address cross government risks with an authoritative voice
- the GIAA delivers substantial work focused on improving the delivery of services and functions across government. It works effectively across boundaries and locations with multiple stakeholders.
The report also makes a number of recommendations to enable the GIAA to “further strengthen its operation and impact”, which the Agency is already addressing through its Corporate Plan and priorities, updated in response to COVID-19.
As with most government bodies, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on all areas of the GIAA’s business. The Tailored Review reflects those challenges with the inclusion of a COVID-19 supplement outlining the GIAA’s COVID-19 response, particularly in relation to how the Agency is continuing to provide crucial support and services to its customers.
This has included:
- quickly re-developing work plans to support customers in managing the risks associated with COVID-19
- providing support to chairs of Audit and Risk Assurance Committees to help them consider the questions to be asked in relation to their role as assurance providers to their Accounting Officer
- sharing professional auditing guidance and best practice in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic for internal and external use.
Elizabeth Honer, the Government Internal Audit Agency’s Chief Executive, said:
“Our mission is to provide objective insight so that central government can achieve better outcomes and value for money for the public. I am therefore delighted that we have received such a positive Review which reaffirms the strategic direction we are taking.”