Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Northern Ireland Audit Office (NIAO) do?

NIAO is an independent watchdog, driving economy, efficiency and effectiveness in public services in Northern Ireland to deliver better outcomes for everyone.

Our remit covers public services in Northern Ireland. You can find out more about the auditing bodies for:

England at www.nao.gov.uk

Scotland at www.auditscotland.gov.uk

Wales at www.wao.gov.uk

Republic of Ireland at www.audgen.gov.ie

What is the C&AG’s function as Comptroller?

The “Comptroller” function concerns the issue of monies from the Consolidated Fund. When satisfied that the required issue pertains to services which have been authorised by the Northern Ireland Assembly, the C&AG countersigns the approval and notifies the bank it is in order to proceed.

Who audits NIAO?

Our external auditors are Baker, Tilly, Mooney, Moore.

Our internal audit function is carried out by Haines Watts .

Is the C&AG responsible for the audit of Local Government Accounts?

The C&AG is not responsible for the audit of Local Government Accounts; a member of Northern Ireland Audit Office staff is designated as the Local government auditors by the Department for Communities. The Local Government Auditor is Pamela McCreedy. Information on the Local Government Audit function within NIAO can be found at Financial Audit Local Government

How do I make a complaint about the NIAO?

Details of our complaints procedure can be found at our Complaints Page.

How do I make a freedom of information request?

Please visit the Freedom of Information Section of our website for guidance how to make a request.

Fraud / Raising Concerns

As a member of the public, how do I report possible fraud?

 

If you suspect fraudulent activity within any public body or by any public official, you should contact the relevant department.  Departments are responsible for undertaking thorough investigations where there is suspected fraud and for taking the appropriate legal and/or disciplinary action in all cases where that would be justified.

 

Fraud is a criminal offence so, in addition, you can report your suspicions to the police.

 

You can raise concerns about possible fraud and corruption within public sector bodies with the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) or the Local Government Auditor (LGA) by emailing whistleblowing@niauditoffice.gov.uk.  Any information you provide will be evaluated as audit evidence.  See further information on Raising Concerns page of our website.

 

The C&AG and LGA do not have the power to discipline public service officials, nor are they able to bring criminal prosecutions against such individuals.  Disciplinary action can only be taken by management and/or any relevant professional bodies.  Allegations of criminality are usually investigated by the police and can ultimately only be decided by the courts.

 

As a member of the public, what types of concerns can I raise with the NI Audit Office?

 

You can raise concerns about the proper conduct of public business, value for money and fraud and corruption with the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) or the Local Government Auditor (LGA) by emailing whistleblowing@niauditoffice.gov.uk.  Any information you provide will be evaluated as audit evidence.  For further information see the Fraud and Raising Concerns page of our website.

 

As a public sector employee, how do I report possible fraud?

 

You should report any suspicions of fraud in accordance with your organisation’s anti-fraud policy.  The policy should provide relevant contact details.

 

You can also raise concerns about possible fraud and corruption with the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) or the Local Government Auditor (LGA) by emailing whistleblowing@niauditoffice.gov.uk.  Any information you provide will be evaluated as audit evidence.  For further information see the Fraud and Raising Concerns page of our website.

 

The C&AG and LGA do not have the power to discipline public service officials, nor are they able to bring criminal prosecutions against such individuals.  Disciplinary action can only be taken by management and/or any relevant professional bodies.  Allegations of criminality are usually investigated by the police and can ultimately only be decided by the courts.

 

As a public sector employee, what types of concerns can I raise with the NI Audit Office?

 

You can raise concerns about the proper conduct of public business, value for money and fraud and corruption with the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) or the Local Government Auditor (LGA) by emailing whistleblowing@niauditoffice.gov.uk.  Any information you provide will be evaluated as audit evidence.  For further information see the Fraud and Raising Concerns page of our website..

 

However, ideally you should raise such concerns directly with your employer in accordance with your organisation’s raising concerns policy.  The policy should provide relevant contact details.

I can’t find the report I’m looking for on the website. Who can I contact about it?

Our Communications team can advise. Please contact . or telephone 028 9025 1097

I want to get hold of a copy of one of your reports in an alternative format.

We can supply copies on request. Please contact our on 028 9025 1097