Internal and external audit

Internal Audit is an in-house team that supports the County Council to:

  • promote effective governance
  • achieve value for money
  • reduces risks to the public purse
  • fight fraud

The role of Internal Audit

The Internal Audit team carries out independent appraisals of the County Council’s systems under the direction of the Chief Operating Officer. Under law we must review the accounting, financial and other operations of the County Council and report upon the effectiveness of our systems and internal controls to:

  • safeguard the Council’s assets
  • ensure that our records are reliable
  • promote the effective and efficient use of Council resources
  • ensure that Council policies are being followed

Internal Audit services

As well as having extensive experience of auditing County Council departments and establishments, we also have extensive experience in providing internal audit support to non-maintained schools and colleges and other public bodies.

Our scope covers all East Sussex County Council operations and departments. This includes County Hall and other offices as well as schools, colleges and social care establishments.

We review our main accounting system, the way we spend the County Council’s money, our income procedures and the way we look after our assets. Our remit and responsibility is set out in the Internal Audit Charter.  [598.7 KB] [pdf]

To achieve this, we have the right of access to any County Council records and assets. This right is set out in the County Council’s Financial Regulations.

Further details

The Internal Audit team also has a responsibility for fighting fraud.


Our scope covers all East Sussex County Council operations and departments. This includes departments at County Hall and other offices as well as maintained schools, colleges and social care establishments.

We review our main accounting system, the way we spend the County Council’s money, our income procedures and the way we look after our assets.

To achieve this, we have the right of access to any County Council records and assets. This right is set out in the County Council’s Financial Regulations.

Internal Audit Plan

Each year we produce a risk-based audit plan, following an analysis of County Council priorities and consultation with senior officers. This sets out all the areas we intend to cover and includes the provision of advice and a contingency for unexpected work or investigations.

Below is the latest copy of our audit strategy and annual plan:

Internal Audit Strategy and Plan

Who do we report to?

Our plan is endorsed and reviewed by the County Council’s Audit Committee.


The Internal Audit Team carries out independent appraisals of the County Council’s systems under the direction of the Chief Operating Officer. Under law we must review the accounting, financial and other operations of the County Council and report upon the effectiveness of our systems and internal controls to:

  • safeguard the Council’s assets
  • ensure that our records are reliable
  • promote the effective and efficient use of Council resources
  • ensure that Council policies are being followed

How do we achieve this?

For information on how we achieve our goals, please see our page on what do we audit.

Fraud

Internal Audit is committed to the principles of the County Council’s Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy and will respond to your concerns about any matter related to the County Council’s activities or services fairly and independently.

For details on how to report any concerns see our page on telling us about fraud or corruption.

External Audit

To find out how we differ from External Audit please see our page on the role of the external auditors.

Contact us

If you wish to speak directly with someone you can call the Internal Audit team on 01273 481447.


External Audit is an annual independent examination designed to form an opinion on the state of the County Council’s financial management and its published annual accounts.

The external auditors provide assurance to residents and councillors that the County Council’s finances are soundly managed and the annual accounts present a true and fair view of the County Council’s income and expenditure assets.

All local authorities are legally obliged to submit their accounts for audit every year.

Our external auditors

Our external audit is carried out by Grant Thornton.

Access to the public

The public have a right to inspect, question and challenge the County Council’s accounts.

For further information on how you can do this, see the Public Sector Audit Appointments website or contact our external auditor.

Contact details

External Audit Engagement Lead
Joanne E Brown
Partner, Audit - Public Sector
Grant Thornton UK LLP

Email: joanne.e.brown@uk.gt.com
Phone: 0141 223 0848

Further information

Information on our external auditors


The objective of these bulletins is to assist School Governors in meeting their core strategic functions as set out in the Governance Handbook published by the Department for Education.

•Ensuring clarity of vision, ethos,and strategic direction.

•Holding executive leaders to account for the educational performance of the organisation and its pupils, and the performance management of staff; and

•Overseeing the financial performance of the organisation and making sure its money is well spent.

The Governance Handbook states that asking the right questions is equally important in relation to money as it is to educational performance. These bulletins are to update school governors on the school audit function. Through our delivery of school audits, we provide assurance to school leaders, Governors, Council Officers and Councillors that effective financial controls are in place. We also pick up on some practices, that whilst not financial, may also be a risk to schools. Our aim is to help improve processes and controls at within schools.

Previous School Audit Bulletins

School Audit Bulletin February 2024 [238.3 KB] [docx]

School Audit Bulletin - March 2022 [253.3 KB] [pdf]

Audit Update Summer 2021 [325.7 KB] [pdf]

Cloud Computing - Autumn 2020  [318.5 KB] [pdf]