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The new process for providing supplementary assurance on internal controls in Government focuses on nine principles that represent good practice for evaluating and improving internal control systems. These principles are not formulated to design and implement an internal control system, but rather to facilitate the evaluation and improvement of existing internal control systems by highlighting a number of areas where the practical application of such guidelines often fails in many organisations.

The assessments will be whether internal controls in Government:

  1. Support the department's objectives
  2. Reflect roles and responsibilities
  3. Link to individual performance
  4. Get applied with sufficient competency
  5. Are supported by a suitable “tone at the top”
  6. Respond to risk
  7. Get communicated regularly
  8. Get monitored and evaluated
  9. Provide for transparency and accountability.

The assessments will be along a scale from “hardly” to “strongly” or on ascale from 0-to-4, with intervals at 0.5 points as shown below.

Hardly Somewhat Mostly Strongly
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4

This guidance discusses each of these assessments, why it is important, and what to do if a “hardly” or “somewhat” score represents a result that is not aligned with the department's risk appetite.

This guidance is based on Evaluating and Improving Internal Control in Organisations International Good Practice Guidance of the Professional Accountants in Business (PAIB) Committee, published by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) on Jun 28, 2012 and is used with permission of IFAC.

If leaders in an entity are concerned about the feedback from CIPFA TICK (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy - Treasury Internal Controls Knowledge) on any of the principles, the guidance suggests avenues that might be used to respond, and improve that area. These suggested responses are summarised for quick reference at the end of this paper.

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