Role of Comptroller & Auditor General

The Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland (C&AG) is head of the Northern Ireland Audit Office (NIAO).

He is responsible for:

  • authorising the issue of money from the Northern Ireland Consolidated Fund to enable Northern Ireland Departments to meet their necessary expenditure, and for ensuring that there are adequate arrangements for the collection of revenue; and
  • the external audit of central government bodies in Northern Ireland, including Northern Ireland departments and their executive agencies and a wide range of other public sector bodies, including executive non-departmental public bodies and health and social care bodies. He undertakes financial audit and value for money audit and the results of his work are reported to the Northern Ireland Assembly.

The C&AG works closely with the Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee  which takes evidence from senior officials on his reports.

The C&AG and the NIAO are wholly independent of Government.

The status, functions and main duties of the C&AG and the NIAO are set down in legislation, including the Audit (Northern Ireland) Order 1987, the Northern Ireland Act 1998, the Government Resources and Accounts Act (Northern Ireland) 2001 and the Audit and Accountability (Northern Ireland) Order 2003. The principal legislative authority for the responsibilities of local government auditors is contained in the Local Government (Northern Ireland) Order 2005, the Local Government (Accounts and Audit) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006. and the Local Government (Northern Ireland) Act 2014.