How we establish assurance reviews

The IMA is required to monitor the implementation and application of The Agreements in the United Kingdom and Gibraltar. This includes keeping under review the adequacy and effectiveness of the exercise by relevant Public Authorities of functions in relation to The Agreements.

The IMA will conduct assurance reviews regarding Public Authorities on a defined topic.

The purpose is twofold:

  • Firstly, to identify best practice for other relevant Public Authorities to self-assess effective application and implementation of The Agreements.
  • Secondly, to identify whether there are potentially relevant compliance issues that should be further investigated.

For example, the IMA may seek assurance that systems and/or processes reflect a correct interpretation of The Agreements. This may be on an individual topic or may relate to a specific Public Authority or group of authorities who share commonality. We may seek assurance because a Public Authority’s consideration of citizens’ rights under The Agreements is not clear through their publications.
The Compliance and Inquiry Team have responsibility for conducting assurance reviews. An assurance review may draw conclusions regarding a Public Authority’s compliance with The Agreements where appropriate.

The IMA may decide to open a specific assurance or compliance case if a Public Authority fails to satisfactorily assure the IMA on a relevant matter or may consider using its other powers where necessary.

Our process for carrying out an assurance review

Assurance reviews enable the IMA to assess a specific topic regarding individual or groups of Public Authorities.

The structure and length of an Assurance Reviews will differ based on the review required. The methods we deploy may include, but are not limited to:

  • Meetings with Public Authorities
  • Developing best practice documents to encourage standardisation
  • Self-Assessment returns by Public Authorities

The outcomes of an assurance review

The IMA will publish an Assurance Report to summaries the engagement undertaken with Public Authorities and the outcome. Assurance Reports may be staggered to provide an initial assessment and updated once a full assurance review is completed. In some circumstances, the IMA may grade Public Authorities to indicate why it is taking the action proposed. Assurance Reports may draw conclusions as to specific compliance with The Agreements. Assurance Reports will set out whether the IMA has assured itself that a Public Authority/Devolved Government has successfully demonstrated their obligations under The Agreements. The report will also outline how the review was conducted.