The internal audit department provides an independent, objective assurance and consulting service designed to add value and improve the groupís operations. The department seeks to follow a systematic and disciplined approach so it can evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control systems and governance processes. The procedures are performed by a team of appropriately qualified and experienced audit staff.

The purpose, authority and responsibility of the internal audit function are defined in an internal audit charter that is recommended by the audit committee approved by the board.

During the year the internal audit changed its focus from a compliance based audit approach to one based on risk assessment. The audit plan is submitted to, and approved by the audit committee and is updated quarterly to reflect any significant changes in the risk profile that may have arisen from changes in the groupís business operations, changes in customer needs or changes to regulatory requirements. The department evaluates the risk exposures relating to the WBHO Groupís governance, operations and information systems regarding the:

  • Reliability and integrity of financial and operational information;
  • Effectiveness and efficiency of operations;
  • Safeguarding of assets; and
  • Compliance with laws, regulations and contracts.

The internal audit department has utilised audit programs and data interrogation technologies which are designed and selected to provide audit assurance regarding the adequacy and effectiveness of systems and controls. In addition to providing this assurance, the department applies its knowledge and understanding to advise management and the committee on processes and controls that should be implemented to improve the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the business.

Each audit assignment is followed by a detailed report to management, including recommendations on areas requiring improvement. The head of internal audit reports on the departmentís activities at each audit committee meeting.

The internal auditors are independent from the activities they audit and can perform their work freely, objectively and without hindrance. The head of internal audit has unrestricted access to the chairperson of the audit committee, the CEO and the chairman of the board.