Annex C: Model letter of appointment
It is recommended that the following issues be included in the Letter of Appointment of an Audit and Assurance Committee member.
Appointment and purpose
You are hereby appointed as a member of the Audit and Assurance Committee of ( organisation). As a member of the committee you are accountable to the Board ( or Accountable Officer where appropriate) through the Chair of the Committee. Your appointment is for ( number) years from ( date). This appointment may be renewed ( number) times ( by mutual agreement) after the duration of this appointment.
The committee is a committee of the Board of ( organisation) and its purpose is to:
- review the comprehensiveness of assurances in meeting the assurance needs of the Board and Accountable Officer;
- review the reliability and integrity of these assurances;
- review the integrity of the financial statements; and
- advise the Board and Accountable Officer about how well assurances consequently support them in decision taking and in discharging their accountability obligations.
A copy of the committee's Terms of Reference is enclosed. The committee is chaired by ( name) and the other members are ( names). [ It is recommended that new members be provided with a list of contact details.]
Support and training
The Secretary of the Committee is ( name/contact details) and he/she will shortly be in touch with you to discuss and arrange appropriate induction training.
To help you understand the governance arrangements and the role of Audit and Assurance Committees in government, you should read the Audit and Assurance Committee Handbook published by the Scottish Government.
Commitment and remuneration
The committee meets at least four times each year, but additional meetings may be required from time to time. You will also be expected to undertake appropriate training and activities designed to keep you in touch with the organisation's activities and priorities. Your remuneration will be ( include details of daily rate and procedures for claims and payment). All monies paid in connection with this appointment are taxable and it is your responsibility to make appropriate arrangements in respect of income tax.
Expenses and subsistence
Travel and subsistence costs will be paid in accordance with ( the organisation's) standard arrangements.
A copy of the current rates and conditions is enclosed for your information.
You are entitled to claim the following expenses and subsistence:
- travel expenses to and from home to the meeting venue;
- travel and subsistence expenses incurred as part of the work of the committee away from the normal venue; and
- dependent care costs.
You would be entitled to travel standard class by rail. Any further clarification on ( the organisation's) arrangements should be sought via the Secretary of the Committee. As a rule of thumb the aim is to use the most efficient and economic means of travel, taking into account sustainability, subsistence costs and savings in time.
Conflicts of interest
Any potential conflict of interest for you in your committee role, including any arising from a change in personal circumstances during your period of appointment, must be declared to the Chair of the Committee.
As a member of the committee you will be subject to appraisal by the Audit and Assurance Committee Chair ( include brief details of the appraisal process).
You are expected to conduct yourself in accordance with the principles of the Seven Principles of Public Life identified by the Committee on Standards in Public Life. A copy of the Seven Principles of Public Life is enclosed.
Under the terms of the Scottish Public Finance Manual issued by the Scottish Ministers, individual non-executive board members of public bodies and independent external members of board committees who have acted honestly and in good faith do not have to meet out of their own personal resources any personal civil liability which is incurred in the execution or purported execution of their board or committee functions, save where the person has acted recklessly.
If you choose to resign from this appointment you will be expected to give ( number) months' notice, unless your circumstances have changed in a way that make it appropriate for you to resign immediately. If your performance as a committee member is decided to be unacceptable (see appraisal) or if your conduct (including conflicts of interests) is unacceptable your appointment may be terminated by the Board/Accountable Officer ( delete as appropriate).