C. Internal Audit

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C. Internal Audit

1. Internal Audit Department Mission (Purpose)

1.1 The USNH Internal Audit Department is an objective assurance and consulting activity designed to provide the Board of Trustees and management with appraisal of the adequacy of, compliance with, and improvement for existing internal controls. The Internal Audit Department helps the USNH accomplish its objectives by bringing a systematic, disciplined approach to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of risk management, control, and governance processes through both audits and consulting services.

2. Internal Audit Function

2.1 The internal auditing function is an objective appraisal activity within the USNH's overall organizational structure. The Internal Audit Department is specifically authorized and directed to:

2.1.1 Have full, free and unrestricted access, consistent with all applicable laws, to all USNH functions, files, records, property and personnel. All employees are requested to assist Internal Audit activity in fulfilling its roles and responsibilities. Internal Audit will also have free and unrestricted access to the Board through its Audit Committee.
2.1.2 Determine whether management's policies, procedures and instructions are followed in a manner consistent with USNH's objectives.
2.1.3 Evaluate any matter that comes to its attention that, in the judgment of the Internal Audit Director, would require a change in policy, procedure, or instruction in order to safeguard USNH assets.
2.1.4 Issue reports to members of management who should be informed or who should take appropriate action, showing the results of the internal audit review and offering recommendations for required improvements. The Internal Audit Director will ensure that all formal audit reports are delivered to each member of the Audit Committee of the Board of Trustees.
2.1.5 Obtain and evaluate plans or actions taken to implement audit recommendations from internal or external auditors and recommend further plans or actions if appropriate.
2.1.6 Review and document the adequacy of internal controls of areas under review.

3. Independence and Objectivity

3.1 The internal audit activity will remain free from interference by any element in the organization, including matters of audit selection, scope, procedures, frequency, timing, or report content to permit maintenance of a necessary independent and objective mental attitude.
3.2 Internal auditors will have no direct operational responsibility or authority over any of the activities audited. Accordingly, they will not implement internal controls, develop procedures, install systems, prepare records, or engage in any other activity that may impair internal auditor’s judgment.
3.3 Internal auditors will exhibit the highest level of professional objectivity in gathering, evaluating, and communicating information about the activity or process being examined. Internal auditors will make a balanced assessment of all the relevant circumstances and not be unduly influenced by their own interests or by others in forming judgments.

4. Professionalism and Standards of Internal Audit Practice

4.1 The internal auditing department strives to comply with the International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing of The Institute of Internal Auditors.
4.2 The Institute of Internal Auditors' Practice Advisories, Practice Guides, and Position Papers will also be adhered to as applicable to guide operations. In addition, the internal audit activity will adhere to USNH’s relevant policies and procedures and the internal audit activity's standard operating procedures.

5. Internal Audit Operations

5.1 The Internal Audit Director will prepare a proposed audit budget for the next year. The audit budget will outline the scope and objectives of audit programs, projects and other activities, and resources necessary to perform them. The Audit Committee will approve the audit budget and will have overall responsibility for oversight of the performance of internal audit activities.The Chancellor's Office is responsible for providing the Internal Audit Department with adequate resources to perform the scope of its responsibilities. The Chancellor, through the Vice Chancellor for Financial Affairs, will provide administrative oversight for the performance of the Internal Audit Department.

6. Quality Assurance Program

6.1 Internal Audit will strive to maintain a quality assurance and improvement program that covers all aspects of the internal audit activity.

7. Audit Committee Function

7.1 The Board of Trustees' Audit Committee has the responsibility for reviewing the activities of the Internal Audit Department to make certain it operates in accordance with this policy.

8. Audit Committee Operations

8.1 The Audit Committee will meet with USNH management, the Internal Audit Director and the external auditors at least three times per year and fulfill the duties and responsibilities of the Audit Committee of the Board as outlined in the Audit Committee Charter, Appendix 9 in the Board of Trustees On Line Policy Manual and provide the Board with a report of each meeting.

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