Audit and Risk Management Committee

The primary function of Audit and Risk Management Committee is to assist the Council in exercising due car, diligence and skill in discharging its oversight and monitoring responsibilities.  Its membership primarily consists of nominated external Council members.  Its defined responsibilities include liaison with the external auditors and overview of the risk management and internal audit processes.


The Charter

A committee of Council will be known as the Audit and Risk Management Committee. This charter establishes the responsibilities of the Audit and Risk Management Committee within the governance system of the University of South Australia.

Audit and Risk Management Committee Charter (pdf) (updated March 2011)

Internal Audit Charter (pdf) (updated March 2011)

Audit and Risk Management Committee Terms of Reference

Primary function

The primary function of the Audit Committee is to assist the Council in exercising due care, diligence and skill in discharging its oversight and monitoring responsibilities.

Committee structure

The Audit Committee shall consist of the following members:

  • three external members of Council, one of which shall be appointed by Council as Chair 
  • a member of the academic staff preferably with qualifications in business administration/economics/accounting, appointed by Council.

In attendance

  • Vice Chancellor
  • Chief Operating Officer: Resources 
  • Director: Assurance Services 
  • the Chancellery will provide secretarial support as required to the Committee.


  • A Senior Auditor of the Auditor General's Department responsible for audit of the University will be invited to be an observer to the meetings of the Committee.
  • The Committee may invite members of management or others to attend the meetings.
  • A quorum is reached if 2 of the 3 external members of Council are present.
  • Terms of Council appointments will be as determined by Council.
  • The Committee is authorised to obtain all pertinent information from management.

General responsibilities 

The Audit Committee provides open lines of communication between Auditors and Council. It shall meet at least 4 times per year. The Chair has the power to call a meeting whenever necessary.

Audit Committee should report to Council after each meeting. The report should cover the following:

  • the Committee's minutes 
  • any formal resolutions or decisions of the Committee 
  • information about the audit process and significant recommendations and results from audits on major issues of which the Committee believes Council should be informed.

Audit Committee has the power to conduct or authorise investigations into matters within the Committee's scope of responsibilities as defined below. The Committee is authorised to retain independent counsel where required to assist in its investigations.

Audit Committee may undertake any matters as directed by Council.

Responsibilities of auditors 

Audit Committee will select the external auditor for the University financial statements, where this is not provided for by legislation. The Committee's selection is subject to approval by Council. The Committee will review external audit fees, and review and approve any dismissal of external auditors.

The Director: Assurance Services shall be subject to appointment by resolution of Council and any questions of appointment, dismissal, replacement, or reassignment shall be determined by resolution of Council on the recommendation of the Audit Committee.

Audit Committee will confirm and assure the independence of internal and external audit.

Audit Committee will obtain an understanding, through consultation with the external auditor, of the audit scope and broad plans for the external audit.

Audit Committee will review and approve the scope of the internal audit plan and work program, and will review plans for the resourcing of the work program.

Audit Committee will consider the coordination of the internal and external audits. The purpose of coordinating these efforts is to assure completeness of coverage, reduce redundancy, and use audit resources effectively.

Audit Committee will consider and review with management and the Director: Assurance Services:

  • any changes to the planned scope of the internal audit work plan the Committee thinks advisable 
  • the Internal Audit Function Charter 
  • whether the internal audit function complies with the Institute of Internal Auditing's Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing.

Responsibilities for risk management and reviewing audit reports and management letters

Council has established a Risk Management Policy, with the following responsibilities assigned to the Committee:

  • Audit Committee will be responsible for oversight of the processes for the identification and assessment of the general business risk, reviewing the outcomes of programmed risk assessments, and advising Council as necessary
  • Audit Committee will review the adequacy of the University's system of internal control with management, the Director: Assurance Services and the external auditors. The Committee will prepare a periodic report to Council on the adequacy of the internal control system
  • Audit Committee will review any significant risks, findings and recommendations made by external or internal auditing, together with management's responses to them.

Responsibility for annual financial statements

Shortly after the annual examination is completed, the Committee will review the following with management and the external auditor: 

  • the University's annual financial statement and the related notes
  • the external auditor's audit of and report on the financial statements
  • the external auditor's qualitative judgement about the appropriateness of accounting principles and disclosures
  • any serious difficulties or disputes with management encountered during the course of the audit.

Periodic responsibilities

  • Review annually the Committee's charter and recommend update where necessary
  • Provide the opportunity for external Council members on the Audit Committee to meet with external and internal auditors without management personnel being present at least once a year
  • Report annually to Council on the Committee's performance and compliance in relation to this charter.