Audit and Risk
The Audit and Risk Committee was established in accordance with section 53 of the Local Government Act 2020 (the Act). The Committee replaces the former Audit and Risk Management Committee established under the Local Government Act 1989.
The Audit and Risk Committee is an advisory committee to assist the Council to discharge its responsibilities under the Act to:
- Monitor the compliance of Council policies and procedures with:
a. The overarching governance principles.
b. The Act and the regulations and any ministerial directions.
c. Other relevant laws and obligations.
- Monitor internal controls
- Monitor Council financial and performance reporting
- Monitor and provide advice on risk management and fraud prevention systems and controls
- Oversee internal audit function
- Oversee external audit functions; and monitor related party transactions.
The Audit and Risk Committee consists of five members: three independent members and two Councillors. The Councillors are appointed for a one-year period. Independent members are appointed for a three-year term and are eligible to be reappointed after the expiry of their term. The chairperson of the committee is appointed on an annual basis from the independent membership of the committee.
The Audit and Risk Committee meets a minimum of four times per annum.
The current membership of the committee is:
- Cr Robyn Gulline (Mayor)
- Cr Les Power
- Richard Trigg (Chairperson)
- Mark Knights
- Marilyn Kearney
Richard Trigg BCom FCPA
Richard joined the Audit and Risk Committee at its March 2019 meeting as an Independent Committee Member and is currently its Chair.
Having more 30 years involvement with the Accounting profession in tax, business management and audit, including as partner of a large chartered accounting firm, Richard is well equipped to contribute to the leadership and governance of Council through the committee.
Richard spent 15 years in Local Government including positions as Finance Manager, Director Corporate Services and Acting CEO, providing valuable insight into the role that the Audit & Risk Committee plays in local government. Richard’s other involvements and interests include Rotary (former member), Vic SES, and involvement with Defence serving with Australian Navy Cadets providing leadership and training to young people and adult staff alike.
Mark Knights has been involved with Council’s Audit and Risk Committee since March 2020.
Mark is the Director of Finance and Corporate Services at Wimmera Health Care Group. Drawing on more than 20 years’ experience in the health sector and 15 years in the hospitality industry, Mark has developed a strong passion for corporate governance, risk and financial management.
Marilyn Kearney joined the HRCC Audit and Risk Committee at its June 2023 meeting.
Following an executive career spanning more than 25 years in both state and local government, Marilyn is now the owner of a boutique management consultancy. She also serves on several boards and committees including local government Audit and risk, and CEO employment and remuneration committees.
She holds qualifications in Local Government Law and Public Policy and Management, and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Planning Institute Australia, Institute Public Policy Australia and LGPro.
The Chief Executive Officer, Director Corporate Services, Manager Finance and Internal Auditors attend all meetings by invitation, to assist the committee, and do not have voting rights. The external auditor attends a committee meeting to present to the external audit plan and the presentation of the audited financial, standard and performance statements. The opportunity is provided for the Audit and Risk Committee to meet with the auditors without management at each meeting.
Matters commonly discussed at the Audit and Risk Committee meetings include:
- Internal audit reviews
- External audit reports
- Implementation status of audit recommendations
- Financial statements
- Reports relating to governance, legislative compliance and information technology
- Risk management issues
- Insurance matters
The Internal Audit function is provided by RSD Audit who provides independent assurance regarding the effectiveness and efficiency of governance, risk management and internal control processes across the organisation.
The appointment of the Internal Auditor was undertaken as a result of a public competitive tendering process in July 2019. The Internal Auditor was appointed in September 2019 for a term of three years with an option to extend for a further one or two years, this two year extension option has now been implemented extending until 2024.
The Audit and Risk Committee operates within a charter which is reviewed on a biennial basis, or as required. The most recent review of the charter was undertaken in September 2022. The charter outlines the duties and responsibilities of the Audit and Risk Committee.