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HM Treasury publishes guidance on assurance frameworks in the public sector

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14 Jan 2014

HM Treasury has published guidance on assurance frameworks in the public sector. The guidance advises on how assurance can best support Accounting Officers and Boards in central government departments and their arm’s length bodies in the leadership or their organisations and in meeting their corporate governance obligations. An effective assurance framework will help to monitor and control risks and major control weaknesses within an organisation.

The guidance “illustrates how risk and assurance arrangements can be directed to meet the delivery and accountability needs of the Accounting Officer and Board, providing evidence-based assurances on the management of risks that threaten successful achievement of public service delivery objectives”. 

The guidance highlights that the assurance framework should provide evidence that underpins the risk and control environment in the annual Governance Statement, which is a key feature of an organisation’s annual report and accounts as it contains information on the corporate governance, risk management and internal control arrangements in place at the organisation. 

Information is provided as to how to structure an assurance framework (including assurance mapping (mapping assurances within an organisation to the risks identified which “threaten the achievement of an organisation’s outcomes and objectives”), with a “Three Lines of Defence” model put forward.  Guidance is also provided on how to manage, monitor and report on risks. 

The full publication can be obtained on the HM Treasury website, here.

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