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Have you issues or concerns in relation to an Audit Visit?
If you have been notified of an upcoming verification visit and have any queries in relation to this matter please contact the Audit Section at aconlon@pobal.ie                If you wish to report an issue or have concerns you would like to bring to the attention of our Audit Section please contact kcooke@pobal.ie.
Audit Contact Info

Audit Section Contact Information

Contact: Aoife Lydon

Email: alydon@pobal.ie

Telephone: 01 511 7264

More Pobal Contact Information

Pobal administers funding for programmes. The Audit Section is responsible for ensuring that the groups managing these programmes spend the funds as agreed in their contracts. It is also responsible for checking that groups comply with Irish public accountability requirements or EU regulations, as appropriate.

The Audit Section operates independently within Pobal.  It works under the direct authority of the Board and under the general supervision and guidance of the Audit and Finance Sub-Committee of Pobal.

The Audit Section is located in Pobal’s Head Office in Dublin and regional offices.

 

What does the  Audit Section do?
         The Audit Section checks that programmes are compliant......Read More

 

Any group that has a contract with Pobal may be subject to an audit or verification visit. 


The Audit Section has the authority to audit all systems and activities of beneficiaries in receipt of Pobal funding. For audit purposes, it has unrestricted access to all the records, reports, personnel and assets of beneficiaries that receive funding administered by Pobal.


During visits, staff from the Audit Section objectively examine on a risk-focused basis the systems and activities of beneficiaries. Specifically, they check to ensure that:

• Beneficiaries are compliant with:

o Public accountability requirements
o EU regulations (where applicable)
o Management and system controls
o Strategic plans, annual plans and approved budgets



• Beneficiaries’ systems, procedures and management information are adequate and reliable
• Financial arrangements for the acquisition, custody and disposal of assets are adequate and appropriate
If the Audit Section identifies weaknesses or deficiencies in any of the above, it will make appropriate recommendations to the beneficiary’s Board of Directors. 

 

Audit Process
         Notification
The beneficiary is usually, but not always, notified in advance.
By phone
The Audit Section typically phones the beneficiary organisation to inform them of a visit about two weeks in advance.  From time to time, the notice may be shorter and some visits can occur without any advance notice.

By email
If advance notice has been given by phone, the Audit Section will then confirm the name of the auditor/verification officer and their contact details, by email. It will also provide details of the information which must be prepared in advance of the visit. Please see useful documents on the right, for more details of what is required for an audit/verification visit.
         On-site verification Visit / Audit

On arrival, the auditor/verification officer identifies themselves (and can show their Pobal identity card if requested) and then explains the process and begins the audit/verification. In some situations, more than one member of staff from the Audit Section could be present.

During the  visit, the auditor/verification officer:

• Reviews the records relating to the Pobal funding and the organisation’s processes, procedures and governance structure

• Validates the expenditure returns by examining all supporting documentation, to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the returns that were submitted to Pobal

• Validates the expenditure returns by examining all supporting documentation, to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the returns that were submitted to Pobal

• May interview staff.

 

 
The duration of a verification visit/audit depends on various factors. These include the number of grants awarded, the size of the business, the complexity of the organisation, and the volume and quality of the records.

 

         Follow Up (Post Audit Visit)
After the visit, the Audit Section writes to the beneficiary’s Chairperson to inform them of the outcome.  This will include details of any findings or issues identified during the course of the visit.
Where the Audit Section has identified issues, Pobal may carry out one or more of the following actions:
 
In general, where issues have been identified, Pobal may undertake one or more of the following actionsWhere the Audit Section has identified issues, Pobal may carry out one or more of the following actions:
 
  • Request that additional information is provided
  • Make recommendations to address or rectify the issues found
  • Undertake a further inspection
  • Refer the matter to Pobal’s Finance Sub-Committee or the CEO for their consideration
  • Request that the Board of Directors commits to a specific timeframe to implement the recommendations
  •  
If a beneficiary fails to respond adequately, Pobal has the right to enforce sanctions. In exceptional circumstances, this can include the termination of contracts.

 

Preparing for a Pobal Audit
         If you have received notice of a visit from the Audit Section......Read More
It is important that you allow time to prepare the relevant documentation in advance. This preparation is essential to help to keep the duration of the visit to a minimum. It also demonstrates your co-operation with the audit process.
After you receive notification of an audit/verification visit, you will be provided with detailed requirements depending on the grant funding your group has received. (Sample Audit Requirements).
 
It is important that you ensure:

• All information is available in original form and in an organised manner to allow the audit staff to carry out their work efficiently
• Any documentation that is archived or not on-site (e.g. with your accountant) is made available at the beginning of the visit.
 
Documentation required:

• All relevant documentation relating to the grant funding (with the grant expenditure clearly linked to the Pobal expenditure returns to allow for timely validation of the returns)
• All documentation relating to the corporate governance of your group (minutes of Board meetings, internal procedures, etc.).
 
 
If you have any queries while preparing for a verification visit please do not hesitate to contact the Audit Section within Pobal for guidance. Email:   Alydon@pobal.ie