Audit Records UK

Description of Business Function

The function of conducting audits of the organisation’s affairs and operations, including both internal and external audits.

Basis of Retention and Disposition

For non-financial audits this is based upon the need to keep records (e.g. for 6 years) in the event of any potential legal action within the Limitation Act 1980 (or equivalent legislation).

For financial audits this is aligned the standard rule for Finance and Accounting records.

Working papers, such as drafts, are kept for a period of time after a document is finalised in case of their need to support corrective changes or questions about the development of a document (unless required longer for proof of process).

At the end of the retention period, disposition decisions would depend on whether there is any current or pending Legal, Compliance or Tax Hold to which they relate as well as any enduring reference value or evidence of process.

Retention Rules Per Record Type

Record Type Minimum Retention Period Rationale
Audit Papers and Action Plans – Non-financial Final copy = Conclusion of Audit + 6 years; Working papers = Publication + 1 year Based on business need, aligned to keeping at least 6 years in the event of any potential legal action within the Limitation Act 1980, s.2 and s. 5
Audit Papers and Action Plans – Financial Final copy = Financial Year Closed + 7 years (10 years in Jersey); Working papers = Publication + 1 year Standard rule for Finance and Accounting records
Group Delegated Authorities Superseded + 6 years Audit trail evidence
Incidents and Investigations – no legal matter arising Investigation Closed + 6 years Based on their evidential and precedence value, aligning to time limits within the Limitation Act 1980., s.2 and s. 5
Incidents and Investigations – legal matter arising Matter closed or Settled + 15 years Standard rule for Legal Affairs’ records

Citations

Please also see Internal audit records retention and disposal schedule published by The National Archives http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/information-management/sched_internal_audit.pdf

Limitation Act 1980, s. 5, Time limit for actions founded on simple contract, “An action founded on simple contract shall not be brought after the expiration of six years from the date on which the cause of action accrued”.

Limitation Act 1980, s.2, Actions founded on tort, “An action founded on tort shall not be brought after the expiration of six years from the date on which the cause of action accrued”

There is nothing stated relating to record keeping in the Bribery Act.

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