Audit and Risk Committee

The Audit and Risk Committee advises the Department of Health’s Principal Accounting Officer and the Departmental Board on risk management, corporate governance and assurance arrangements in the Department and its subordinate bodies.

The Audit and Risk Comittee’s functions are to consider:

  • the Department’s strategic risk register
  • the audit strategies and plans of the Department’s internal and external auditors
  • the accounting policies, the accounts and the Department’s annual report, together with any issues arising out of them
  • the Department’s response to any issues identified by audit work
  • the annual Statement of Internal Control
  • the Department’s Business Code of Conduct
  • any proposals for tendering for audit services, or for the purchase of non-audit services from contractors who provide audit services
  • anti-fraud policies, whistle-blowing processes and arrangements for special investigations

The Audit and Risk Committee is particularly required to satisfy itself of – and to advise the Principle Accounting Officer on – the adequacy of the Department’s arrangements to monitor and act on the findings and recommendations of external bodies (such as the Public Accounts Committee).

Audit and Risk Committee members

The Audit and Risk Committee consists of a minimum of three non-executive members. These are:

  • Mike Wheeler the Chair (and who also sits on the Departmental Board)
  • Michael Hearty
  • Jane Ramsey

The Committee members decide exactly which civil servants should attend which parts of the meetings. However, the following usually attend most if not all meetings:

  • Una O’Brien CB Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health
  • Sir David Nicholson KCB CBE Chief Executive of the National Health Service in England
  • Richard Douglas CB Director General of Policy, Strategy and Finance
  • DH Head of Internal Audit
  • Colin Wilcox, the NAO Assistant Auditor General responsible for health

Frequency of meetings

The Audit and Risk Committee usually meets at least four times a year.

Summary of meetings

Summaries of proceedings from the scheduled meetings of the Department of Health Audit and Risk Committee are made available within three months of each scheduled meeting.

Annual reports

You can view the annual reports for the audit and risk committee.

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