Finance and Internal Control
The IUHPE is a complex organisation: it exists as a global entity, is located legally in France (with related obligations), runs and manages global initiatives, but also operates through regional structures, supported by a small team of Officers, and a wide range of professional members.
With this premise, the Vice-President for Finance and Internal Control works to ensure that an appropriate level of accountability, scrutiny and flexibility are built into the organisation's systems, but avoiding an overly bureaucratic financial governance structure.
The viability of the organisation and its ability to conduct proposed activities depends critically on the availability of resources. A simple but effective governance structure is necessary, as well as the need to reflect financial matters in all work plans. Reviewing the financial governance arrangements also provides the opportunity to consider wider aspects of organisational governance covering staff, and risk management. In addition to annual reporting and planning IUHPE finance, the Vice-President has a longer-term plan to clarify and develop the overall financial and organisational governance framework covering:
- Inter-relationship between global/HQ/regional/project budgeting
- Articulation of financial and other governance reporting mechanisms
- Budgetary planning framework to support Vice-President's work programmes and resourcing
- Risk management, including construction of risk register
- Inter-relationship with staff governance
Committee for Internal Control (CIC)
At its meeting in June 2008, the Board of Trustees of IUHPE agreed to the establishment of a Committee for Internal Control (CIC) as part of a revision to the role of the Vice President. The key intention was to set out annual financial governance processes for implementation in 2008 onwards, as well as ensuring a systematic and coherent internal control framework for other aspects of governance is in place in the period 2008-2010.
The Committee for Internal Control oversees internal control systems (finance; staff governance; estates; risk) with meetings of the members two times a year linked to the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees meetings. At the first meeting on November 30th 2008, immediately prior to the meeting of the Executive Committee, the CIC's role and terms of reference were outlined.
The role of the CIC is to support the Board, the President and the Executive Director by reviewing the comprehensiveness of assurances about the control measures used by the Officers of the organisation. The intention is to review the reliability of the assurances given.
The scope of the CIC includes financial controls, staff governance and risk management overall. The Committee seeks to establish a view on where risk is being appropriately managed (no action needed), where it is not adequately controlled (action required), where it is over-controlled (resource is potentially being wasted) and where there is a lack of evidence about the control arrangements (agreed action required).
Financial reporting: the CIC will not itself review the annual accounts and financial plans in detail. It will consider whether the control environment is appropriate covering:
- Accounting policies
- Financial systems
- Preparation of annual accounts
- Reporting arrangements for accounts and financial position.
Staff governance: the CIC will focus its attention on the policy and procedure arrangements for the appointment, retention and management of staff.
Risk management: the CIC will concentrate on the existence of and arrangements for updating of the risk register and related processes.