The global internal audit function consists of the group internal audit team, led by the Chief Internal Auditor, plus regional and country audit functions that operate in each of the group’s principal areas of business. The regional and country functions are centrally directed by the group internal audit team. The country internal audit functions are jointly accountable to local senior finance management and regional heads of internal audit. They also have direct access and accountability to local audit committees and the Chief Internal Auditor.
Internal audit activities, all of which are risk-based, are performed by teams of appropriately qualified and experienced employees. Third parties may be engaged to support audit work as appropriate. The Chief Internal Auditor, who reports functionally to the Chief Financial Officer, has regular meetings with the chairman of the audit committee and prepares formal reports for each audit committee meeting as to the consolidated activities and key findings of the global internal audit function.
The global internal audit function uses a standardised group-wide internal audit methodology which is in compliance with the ‘International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing’ of the Institute of Internal Auditors. The function operates a formal global quality assurance and effectiveness programme. Accordingly, detailed quality review assessments are performed with regard to the regional and country internal audit teams, to ensure compliance with defined quality and performance measures. This process provides a basis for the annual review of the effectiveness of the global internal audit function and results in a formal report (prepared by the Chief Internal Auditor) to the audit committee to support the committee’s formal annual assessment of the effectiveness of internal audit. In addition, a periodic review of internal audit is undertaken by an independent external consultant in accordance with the requirements of the Institute of Internal Auditors.