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Warning: This is archived material and may be out of date. The Metropolitan Police Authority has been replaced by the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPC).

See the MOPC website for further information.

Directorate of Audit, Risk and Assurance

‘helping to improve the way the Metropolitan Police Service runs its internal business’

What is our role?

The Directorate of Audit, Risk and Assurance (DARA) provides the internal audit service for the MPS and MPA. We have a statutory responsibility to give an annual opinion on the effectiveness of the risk management, internal control and governance framework supporting the policing of London.

We are an independent assurance function and have a crucial role in helping the MPS and MPA to demonstrate the highest standards of corporate governance, public accountability and transparency in the conduct of their business. Our strategic approach is based on supporting the delivery of Met Forward, the London Policing Business Plan and the Commissioner’s Five P’s, which is focused on three key outcomes:

  • Fighting crime and reducing criminality;
  • Increasing confidence in policing; and
  • Giving better value for money

An appropriately constituted MPA Corporate Governance Committee (CGC) is responsible for enhancing public trust and confidence in the governance of the MPA and the MPS. The Director of Audit, Risk and Assurance reports to the MPA Chief Executive and has direct access to the Commissioner and the Chair of Corporate Governance Committee.

Who are we?

All of our auditors are professionally trained and operate under the standards laid down by the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors UK and Ireland. Our counter fraud auditors are accredited or experienced investigators. Our work is supported by professionally trained analysts.

How do we do our work?

Our work is based on risk based plans focused on reviewing areas key to achieving policing priorities and objectives. Our review activity is planned on a three year cycle and is supported by a risk assessment informed by MPS management’s evaluation of current risk. We produce a dynamic annual plan following discussions with MPS Management Board which is approved by the MPA CGC. Completion of the plan enables the Director of Audit, Risk and Assurance to provide an annual opinion on the effectiveness of the control environment which in turn informs the Annual Governance Statement published with the Annual Accounts.

We work in consultation with MPS business groups and management, striking the appropriate balance between providing assurance, challenge and advice. We also look for and report on opportunities for improving efficiency and value for money in all aspects of our work. We are mindful of equalities and diversity issues in the conduct of all our work. Key strands to our approach include:

Risk based audits. These reviews provide much of the evidence to support the annual opinion. We report on the effectiveness of controls to manage key risks to achieving MPS/MPA objectives, provide assurance and agree actions for improvement.

Review of risk management. We conduct an annual review of the risk management process and work in liaison with the MPS strategic lead for risk management to facilitate improvement. We also review and advise on the effectiveness of the MPA’s risk management process.

Advising change programmes and projects. Our expertise in risk and control is used to advise on new or developing systems at an early stage in the development process. We provide assurance to MPS management on the effectiveness of programme and project management. We also provide ad hoc control advice through our helpline.

Specialist reviews. These reviews focus on specialist areas of the business such as procurement, ICT and systems supporting covert activity. We utilise specialist skills to evaluate key risks and identify areas for improvement in these key areas.

B/OCU reviews. We evaluate and report on the effectiveness of the management of business and finance risks at a local level both on borough and within MPS specialist command units.

Met Standards. We give independent assurance on the framework supporting the achievement of Met Standards, a programme of work under Met Forward that recognises good performance at a local level. This is informed by our B/OCU review activity. We also assess and report on the effectiveness of the MPS internal review functions.

Counter fraud activity. The joint MPA and MPS Anti Fraud Strategy provides the basis for our pro-active fraud prevention and awareness programme. We also investigate potential fraud and abuse and analyse the risk and compliance issues that lead to internal fraud to inform preventative action.

Analytical analysis. Our analytical team interrogate and analyse key MPS financial systems identifying potential areas of concern and this work provides assurance on the management of high risk/cost and sensitive areas.

Material systems. We review MPS financial systems and test key controls on an annual basis to a standard that enables external audit to place reliance on our work. This work should result in a reduced need for external audit coverage in these areas.

Professional standards. The MPS is driving forward the professional standards agenda promoting accountability, integrity, compliance and ethical standards. We identify areas of concern, advise on risk and control issues, contribute to organisational learning and provide assurance on governance arrangements.

How are we accountable?

The MPA is required by law to set up an adequate and effective internal audit service. In practice this is delegated to the Chief Executive to whom the Director of Audit, Risk and Assurance reports. The MPA CGC oversees the work of Audit, Risk and Assurance and provides an annual assurance on the effectiveness of DARA, which is supported by external audit assessments and regular reports on audit performance by the Director of Audit, Risk and Assurance. The CGC is attended by the Director of Resources for the MPS, the MPA Chief Executive, the MPA Treasurer and the Director of Audit, Risk and Assurance. The Audit Commission, which is the external auditor of both the MPS and the MPA, reviews the quality and effectiveness of DARA and provides an assessment to the CGC.

After every audit the Director of Audit, Risk and Assurance sends a questionnaire to the senior line management concerned seeking their views on the value of the audit and our approach. The overall results are included in the Director of Audit, Risk and Assurance Annual Report to the MPA.

Where and how can you get in touch?

General enquiries

Directorate of Audit, Risk and Assurance
Metropolitan Police Authority
10 Dean Farrar Street

Tel: 020 7202 0202
Fax: 020 7202 0100
Minicom: 020 7202 0173

General enquiries email

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