7. Independence and Objectivity
7.1 Independence is the freedom from conditions that threaten the OIA’s ability to carry out its responsibilities in an unbiased manner. The OIA’s organizational independence is effectively achieved when the Head of the OIA functionally reports to the Audit Committee under the University Council.
7.2 Objectivity is an unbiased mental attitude. The OIA, its staff members, and internal audit activities should be free from interference by any elements in the University, including matters of audit selection, scope, procedures, frequency, timing, or report content to permit the maintenance of their objectivity and organizational independence.
7.3 The OIA and its staff members’ objectivity and independence must not be impaired in fact or in appearance. Impairment to the individual auditor’s objectivity and organizational independence may include, but is not limited to, personal conflict of interest, scope limitations, restrictions on access to records, personnel and properties, or resource limitations.
7.4 The Head of the OIA and Internal Auditor(s) must have NO direct operational responsibility or authority over any of the activities to be audited. Accordingly, they should not implement internal controls, develop procedures, install systems, prepare records, or engage in any other activities that may impair their objectivity and organizational independence.
a. The Head of the OIA and Internal Auditor(s) must refrain from assessing specific operations for which they were previously responsible. The individual objectivity is presumed to be impaired if she/he provides assurance services for an activity for which she/he has responsibility within the previous year.
b. If the Head of the OIA has or is expected to have roles and/or responsibility that fall outside of internal auditing, sufficient safeguards must be in place to limit impairments to her/his objectivity or organizational independence.
c. Assurance for functions over which the Head of the OIA has responsibility must be overseen by a party outside of the OIA.
7.5 The Head of the OIA and OIA’s staff members must exhibit the highest level of professional objectivity in gathering, evaluating, and communicating information about the activity or process being examined. They should make a balanced assessment of all relevant circumstances and not be unduly influenced by their own interests or by others in forming their opinions over any of the audited activities.
7.6 The Head of the OIA should confirm the OIA’s objectivity and organizational independence to the Audit Committee at least annually.