Internal and external audit

Internal 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 [181.1 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.


External Audit

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
Philip Johnstone
KPMG Director
15 Canada Square
London E14 5GL

Email: philip.johnstone@kpmg.co.uk
Phone: 0207 311 2091

Further information

Information on our external auditors


School Audit Bulletins

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 leadersto 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 - March 2022 [253.3 KB] [pdf]

Audit Update Summer 2021 [325.7 KB] [pdf]

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