Internal Audit Charter

The District shall maintain a comprehensive program of internal auditing.  The internal auditor shall furnish the Board and administration with evaluations, analyses, recommendations, and information concerning the activities reviewed under this program.  The District shall support the internal audit program as an objective assurance of its operations and shall consider this evaluation in its objectives to improve the effectiveness of internal controls and processes.

As established by the Board, the role of the internal audit department shall be to provide an independent and objective evaluation and assurance to assist the Board and the District’s administration in accomplishing District objectives by implementing a systemic and disciplined approach for evaluating the District’s risk management, control, and governance processes. The internal auditor shall be accountable to the Superintendent and the Board to: Periodically provide an assessment of the adequacy and effectiveness of the District’s processes. Report significant issues related to the processes and suggest potential improvements to the processes. Provide information periodically on the status and results of the annual audit plan and the sufficiency of department resources. Coordinate with and provide oversight of other control and monitoring functions, such as risk management, compliance, security, ethics, environmental, and the external audit.

The internal audit staff shall adhere to the Government Accountability Office’s Government Auditing Standards or the Institute of Internal Auditors’ Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing.  When these two sets of standards are in conflict, the Government Auditing Standards shall take precedence.  Each member of the internal auditing department shall also comply with the Institute of Internal Auditors’ Code of Ethics.
Internal auditing is a staff function with no authority over the personnel and activities being audited; therefore, this independence from operating responsibility shall promote objectivity.  The internal audit department may examine and evaluate any activity of the District.  To conduct audits, the audit staff shall be authorized to access District activities, records (paper or electronic), property, and personnel.  Audit staff shall only have authorized access to student records to the extent permissible under law, including, but not limited to, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. Documents and information provided to the internal audit department during a periodic review shall be handled in the same prudent and confidential manner as by those employees normally accountable for them.

The internal auditor shall report functionally to the Board and administratively to the Superintendent. Accordingly, the Board shall:0. Approve internal audit plans; Establish resource requirements for the auditor, including the audit budget and resource plan; Receive communications from the internal auditor and administration on the internal audit activity’s performance relative to plans and other matters; Communicate with the internal auditor concerning internal audit activities; Make final decisions regarding the appointment or removal of the internal auditor, in accordance with law; and Approve the remuneration of the internal auditor. The Board President or designee shall be permitted to contact the internal auditor to recommend areas for investigation or audit focus but shall not have individual authority to direct any audit or investigation.  Audit selection shall be based on the internal auditor’s professional judgment. For purposes of this policy, the Superintendent shall ensure that appropriate support is provided for the internal audit function, including, but not limited to:0. Budget, accounting, procurement, and information technology support; Human resource administration, including support in hiring and providing compensation; Communications with the internal auditor concerning internal audit activities; Adequate work space, furniture, and equipment; Administration of the District’s policies and procedures to include enforcement of time and attendance, travel, and purchasing requirements; Evaluation of the internal auditor’s performance; and Recommendations regarding the appointment or removal of the internal auditor. The Superintendent may direct areas to be investigated or audited and shall work cooperatively with the internal auditor to ensure access and removal of impediments to audited areas.

The internal auditor shall use professional judgment to select and conduct an audit or investigation without a directive from the Board or Superintendent. Other than the direction provided by the Board or Superintendent for identifying areas to be audited, all internal audit activities shall remain free of influence by any element in the District, including matters of audit selection, scope, procedures, frequency, timing, or report content. The internal audit department shall have no direct operational responsibility or authority over any of the activities the department reviews and shall not engage in any activity that would typically be audited.  The internal auditor shall have no authority to direct the activities of any District employee not employed by the department of internal audit except to the extent that employees may be appropriately assigned to assist the internal audit department.

The scope of internal auditing may encompass examination and evaluation of adequacy and effectiveness of the District’s governance, risk management processes, systems of internal controls, and quality of performance in carrying out assigned responsibilities to achieve the District’s stated goals and objectives. The scope of internal auditing may include:0. Auditing or reviewing the reliability and integrity of financial and operating information and the means used to identify, measure, classify, and report such information. Auditing or reviewing the systems established to ensure compliance with policies, plans, procedures, laws, and regulations that could significantly affect operations and reports and whether the District is in compliance. Auditing or reviewing the means of safeguarding assets and, as appropriate, verifying the existence of such assets. Auditing or reviewing and appraising the economy and efficiency with which resources are employed. Auditing or reviewing operations or programs to ascertain whether results are consistent with established objectives and whether operations or programs are being carried out as planned. Auditing or reviewing specific operations at the direction of the Board or the District administration, as appropriate. Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the District’s risk management system.

Internal audits shall be planned and conducted in accordance with the Government Auditing Standards promulgated by the Government Accountability Office, and to the extent consistent with the Government Auditing Standards, the Standards for the Professional Practice on Internal Auditing and the Code of Ethics promulgated by the Institute of Internal Auditors.  Planning shall include:0. Establishing risk-based plans to determine the priorities of the internal audit department. Communicating internal audit plans and resource requirements to the Board for review and approval. Responding to the Board’s special requests for audit and consulting services. Responding to the Superintendent’s special requests for audit and consulting services. Communicating results and recommendations to appropriate persons. Maintaining a system to monitor the disposition of results and recommendations communicated to the administration. Reporting periodically to the Board on accomplishments relative to the audit plan and any special requests.Reporting shall include significant risk, control, and policy issues identified during audits. Coordinating audit efforts with the District’s certified public accountants. Ensuring the continuing professional development of the internal audit staff.

At the conclusion of each audit, the internal auditor shall issue a written report and shall forward a copy of each audit report and a summary to the Superintendent.  Each report shall be distributed as appropriate. The internal audit department shall be responsible for appropriate follow-up on audit findings and recommendations.  All significant findings shall remain in an open issues file until cleared by the internal audit department.  The internal audit department shall issue periodic status reports to the Board, with copies to the Superintendent.

The internal audit department shall attempt to resolve at the lowest possible administrative level any disputes regarding specific findings or disagreements regarding recommendations.  If the internal audit staff cannot resolve the issue, the matter shall be referred to the Superintendent.  If the Superintendent cannot resolve the dispute, or if the dispute involves the Superintendent, the issue shall be referred to the Board.