The HEA and the Comptroller and Auditor General
While the Comptroller and Auditor General must, by necessity, maintain an ‘arm’s length’ relationship with both the HEA and HEIs, it is also important that a good working relationship is maintained to ensure full understanding of C&AG findings and timely interventions where issues have been identified.
To facilitate this, the HEA schedules formal meetings with the C&AG on a quarterly basis. These meetings focus in particular on the status of C&AG audits of financial statements of HEIs and the identification of any issues or difficulties arising (e.g. non-compliance with procurement requirements). Where issues arise that are not previously known to the HEA, it allows for earlier intervention with the relevant institution in order to address them.
The C&AG can also commission special reports with regard to a particular issue identified in the course of its regular work (e.g. governance concerns in a particular HEI), or on a particular cross-sectoral theme (e.g. capital investment) and the HEA works with it to facilitate these undertakings with relevant HEIs.