Non Executive Directorships

External Member: House of Lords Audit Committee

Location: London

Date Posted: 05/09/2020

Closing Date: 05/10/2020

Vacancy Description

Applications are invited for a forthcoming vacancy as an external member of the House of Lords Audit Committee. The current external member’s term ends at the end of 2020 so the successful candidate is expected to assume this post at the start of 2021.

The House of Lords Audit Committee advises the Clerk of the Parliaments (in his role as the Accounting Officer) on the discharge of his responsibilities. In doing so, the Committee considers reports and other material from internal and external audit, senior parliamentary officials and other relevant sources. The Committee is chaired by an external member, who is also a member of the House of Lords Commission; the Commission is responsible for providing political oversight of the work of the Administration and is chaired by the Lord Speaker.

Other Audit Committee members include a further external member (this post) and five Members of the House of Lords. Further information on the Audit Committee, including the Committee’s terms of reference and membership, is available on the Parliament website.

The House of Lords Audit Committee aims to meet jointly with the equivalent Committee in the House of Commons approximately twice a year to discuss issues that affect both Houses.

Person Specification

All candidates should demonstrate in their written applications and at interview how their experience has equipped them to meet the requirements of the role. The criteria that will be used to assess whether candidates have the required knowledge, experience, skills and qualities are set out in this document. Please ensure that you provide evidence and examples (as far as you are able) in response to these when writing your application. Should you be selected for interview, these areas will be assessed in more depth at interview.

Essential criteria

Experience

  1. Board or Board-level experience within a complex organisation in the public, private or not-for-profit sectors
  2. Experience as a non-executive director, external member, trustee or equivalent in the public, public, private or not-for-profit sectors, or extensive experience of working with non-executive Board members.
  3. Extensive experience of successfully managing relationships in a complex, multi-stakeholder environment.

Skills and attributes

  1. Analysis: excellent analytical skills that have been proven on complex and sensitive issues.
  2. Financial: recent and relevant expertise in finance, accounting and/or audit process, particularly for public sector organisations.
  3. Interpersonal: the ability to contribute constructively and collaboratively with Committee members, inspiring confidence and respect.
  4. Risk: ability to provide constructive advice based on experience of risk management and the control environment.
  5. The highest levels of personal integrity, fairness and impartiality.

Desirable criteria

  • Understanding of the role of the House of Lords Administration and the House of Lords governance structure.
  • Financial, accounting or auditing qualification
  • Experience as an audit committee member

Personal Qualities and Skills

  • Absolute integrity
  • The communication skills to get your view across in meetings or in writing
  • Confidence and strength of character to manage situations both assertively and sensitively
  • Respect for the sensitivity and confidential nature of some of the evidence and knowledge that will arise during the course of the work
  • The ability to forge relationships of trust while retaining independence of thought
  • Proven commitment to diversity and inclusivity

Additional Information

Key responsibilities of the House of Lords Audit Committee

Governance, Risk Management and Internal Control

The Committee is responsible for reviewing governance, risk management and internal control (“the system of internal control”).

This review includes:

  • The effectiveness of the design and operation of the system of internal control
  • The development and operation of the system of risk management, in accordance with the overall risk management policy
  • The level and range of assurances on the management of risks
  • The adequacy and implementation of proposed management actions to improve the effectiveness of internal controls

Annual Report and Accounts

The Committee is responsible for reviewing the Annual Report and Accounts before it is signed off by the Accounting Officer.

This review to include:

  • any significant changes in the accounting policies or treatments
  • major financial reporting judgements or estimates
  • consistency of the Annual Governance Statement
  • resolution of any matters raised by the external auditor (the NAO)
  • significant adjustments resulting from the audit by the external auditor

Internal Audit

The Committee is responsible for reviewing the work of the internal audit service. This includes:

  • Review of the annual internal audit plan and monitoring of progress
  • Consideration of the results and findings from internal audit work, the adequacy of management responses and the effectiveness of subsequent management action
  • Consideration of the Head of Internal Audit’s annual report and opinion
  • Consideration of periodic reviews of the internal audit’s compliance with Public Sector Internal Audit Standards

External Audit

The Committee is responsible for reviewing the work of external audit. This includes:

  • Consideration of the external audit strategy and overall audit plan
  • The results of the external audit work, including any reports to those charged with responsibilities for governance, and the adequacy of management responses
  • Representations made by management to the external auditor

How to Apply

Candidates will be selected on the basis of a written application and interview.

Applicants are asked to provide the following:

  • A CV (maximum three sides of A4) with your full employment history as well as any unpaid or community achievements.
  • A covering supporting statement (maximum two sides of A4) giving evidence of the strength and depth of your ability to meet the criteria for the role. Please provide specific examples to demonstrate how you meet each of the essential experience criteria as well as showing how you meet the qualities and skills listed and any of the desirable criteria.
  • The names and contact details for two referees should be provided as an appendix to your CV. These must be people who know you in a professional capacity who are able to comment on your suitability for the role and who will be expected to have authoritative and personal knowledge of your achievements.

CV and letters should be submitted by email at hlauditcommitteeapplications@parliament.uk

If you are selected for interview, you will be asked to complete:

  • A conflicts of interest form.
  • A political activity declaration.

Appointment depends on satisfactory references and security checks and where necessary proof of qualifications.

We welcome applications from groups who are currently under-represented within the team, including disabled candidates and candidates from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background. Please include in your covering email if you require any reasonable adjustments if shortlisted for interview. Interviews are expected to take place virtually.

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