End of Session Report 12 May 2011 – 31 August 2012

Session: 2012/2013

Date: 12 November 2012

ISBN: Only available online

Mandate Number: 2011/15

This is the end of session report of the Audit Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly from 12th May 2011 to 31st August 2012.


The Audit Committee is a Standing Committee of the Northern Ireland Assembly established in accordance with paragraph 10 of Strand One of the Belfast Agreement and under Assembly Standing Order No. 58. The Committee has 5 members including a Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson and a quorum of 2.


The Committee has the power to:

  • Exercise the functions mentioned in Section 66(1) of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.  The Committee therefore agrees, in place of the Department of Finance and Personnel, the annual estimate of the use of resources of the Northern Ireland Audit Office (NIAO) and lays them before the Assembly.
  • Table a motion in respect of the salary of the Comptroller and Auditor General Northern Ireland (C & AG)

The Chairperson of the Audit Committee also has a lead role in the recruitment of the C & AG (NI).

The Committee is appointed at the start of every Assembly mandate and has the power to send for persons, papers and records that are relevant to its enquiries.


The membership of the Committee is as follows:

Mr Danny Kinahan (Chairperson)
Mr David Hilditch (Deputy Chairperson)
Ms Anna Lo
Mr Dominic Bradley1     
Mr Paul Maskey2 

1with effect from 23rd April 2012 Mr Dominic Bradley replaced Ms Margaret Ritchie
2 with effect from 1st July 2012 Mr Paul Maskey resigned as an MLA

NIAO Corporate Plan 

1. Following consultation with DFP and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the Committee scrutinised and approved the draft NIAO Corporate Plan 2012/2013-2014/15.

NIAO Annual Report and Accounts 2011-2012

2. Having considered submissions from the independent external auditors and having examined the NIAO Annual Report and Resource Accounts 2011/12 and 2012/13, the Committee was content each of these reports.

NIAO Estimates

3. The Committee agreed the estimate for the NIAO’s use of resources for 2012-2013 and laid the estimate before the Assembly. It did so having first consulted with DFP and PAC.  The Committee scrutinised and monitored the NIAO’s expenditure at each of the monitoring rounds.

Reappointment of the External Auditors for the NIAO

4. The Committee agreed in June 2011 that DFP should enter into discussions regarding the re-appointment of Baker Tilly Mooney Moore as the external auditor to the NIAO for the fourth year of a five year contract.  In June 2012 the Committee agreed that the DFP should again enter into discussions regarding the re-appointment of Baker Tilly Mooney Moore as the external auditor to the NIAO, this time for the fifth and final year of a five year contract.

Comptroller and Auditor General’s Salary

5. The Committee agreed that the Comptroller and Auditor General’s salary for 2012/13 should remain frozen at its current level and that further to the outcome of the Government’s consideration of the SSRB review of the judicial salary structure, the Audit Committee should carry out a review of the options open to it for determining the C&AGs salary in the future. 


6. The Committee met five times during this session. Three meetings were held in public session and two meetings were held in part closed session.  


7. Details of the Committee’s expenditure are shown in Annex A.


Audit Committee

Expenditure for the period 12th May 2011 – 31st August 2012

Budget area




Printing of committee reports


Report on the Estimate of the Northern Ireland Audit Office 2012-13




General Committee expenses


Cost of refreshments for committee meetings etc