Responsibilities of FAC

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The FAC responsibilities shall include:

  • Jointly with the SAC ensure that NCST¡¦s Strategic Plan is aligned with Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Strategies and GoM priorities.
  • Jointly with the SAC advise the Board on long and short term financial implications of NCST¡¦s strategic and operational plans.
  • Oversee the annual budgeting process and preparation of annual work plans.
  • Jointly with the SAC ensure that annual budgets and work plans are realistic, practical and are aligned to NCST Strategic Plan.
  • Recommend NCST annual budget and annual work plans to the Board for approval.
  • Facilitate the Board to present 3 (three) months before the NCST financial year end, the approved NCST annual budget and work plan to the Minister of Finance and Secretary to the Treasury.
  • Approve any reviews/reallocations of the approved annual budget.
  • Jointly with the SAC ensure NCST¡¦s resources are used economically, efficiently and effectively to achieve its mandate.
  • Ensure the Secretariat has implemented processes and procedures to ensure transparency and accountability in the use of NCST resources.
  • Formulate and review financial policies and procedures and recommend same to the Board for adoption.
  • Jointly with the SAC review and monitor NCST¡¦s performance against benchmarks established by the Board.
  • Review regular financial reports and provide advice to Board on financial management and resource allocations.
  • Receive the annual financial reports and financial statement of the Science & Awards Fund and other project funds managed by NCST.
  • Consider and make recommendations to the Board on any matters having significant financial impact on NCST.
  • Monitor procurement issues of NCST and ensure compliance with the Procurement Act.
  • Seek any information it requires from employees (all of whom are directed to cooperate with the Committees requests) or external parties.
  • Jointly with the AAC and the DG review the expertise, resources and experience of the Finance and Administration function.
  • Exercise authority delegated to it by the Board and any other matters referred to it by the Board or the Chairperson of the Board.

Financial Reporting

  • Ensure financial reports, financial statements and associated information are in accordance with accepted accounting practice.
  • Review significant accounting and reporting issues, including complex or unusual transactions and highly judgmental areas, and recent professional and regulatory pronouncements, and understand their impact on NCST financial statements.
  • Review with management and the auditors (both internal and external) the results of their audits, including any difficulties encountered.
  • Resolve any disagreements between management and the auditor regarding financial reporting.
  • Review the annual financial statements and consider whether they are complete; consistent with information known to Members; accurate and reflect appropriate accounting principles.
  • Review with management and the external auditors all matters required to be communicated to the FAC committee under generally accepted auditing standards.
  • Understand how management develops interim financial statements, and the nature and extent of internal and external auditor involvement.
  • Review interim financial statements with management and the external auditors before filing with regulators, and consider whether they are complete and consistent with the information known to Members.
  • Jointly with SAC, review quarterly performance management reports submitted by the Secretariat through the DG.
  • Within four (4) months after NCST financial year end, the FAC jointly with the SAC shall facilitate the Board to submit to the MoF and MoEST, NCST performance and management reports of its operations together with its audited financial statements.
  • Jointly with SAC assist the Board to present the Science and Technology report to the National Assembly every two (2) years.

Institutional Risk Management
The Board is responsible for the governance of risk. The FAC shall assist the Board to manage risks that impact on NCST through:

  • Assisting the Board determine NCST risk appetite.
  • Overseeing the process of designing and implementing appropriate risk management strategies
  • Overseeing the monitoring of the effectiveness and efficiency of the risk management strategies implemented.
  • Ensuring that risk assessment is undertaken annually.
  • Ensuring risks are prioritized and ranked to focus risk management initiatives to those risks that are outside Board¡¦s risk appetite.
  • Obtaining feedback from internal and external auditors on the effectiveness of NCST risk management process.
  • Facilitating the Board to disclose to Department of Statutory Corporations, MoF, MoEST and key stakeholders how NCST Board has satisfied itself that risk assessments, responses and interventions are effective. The FAC shall also report any undue, unexpected or unusual risks, and any material losses.

Internal Controls
The FAC shall ensure that the NCST has a strong internal control environment. In particular, it shall;

  • Consider the effectiveness of the NCST¡¦s internal control system, including information technology security and controls.
  • Understand the scope of internal and external auditors¡¦ review of internal control over the NCST¡¦s operations and financial reporting, and obtain reports on significant findings and recommendations, together with management¡¦s responses.

Internal Audit
Ensure that there is an effective risk based Internal Audit Function.

  • Safeguard the independence of the IAF by ensuring the HIA reports functionally to the FAC and administratively to the DG.
  • Review the planned internal audit activities and consider their adequacy as a basis for providing an independent and objective opinion on risk management, controls and governance. In particular, advise the Board on the adequacy of:
  1. The Internal Audit Charter.
  2. The effectiveness of the internal audit strategy and annual audit plan in addressing the NCST risks.
  3. The resourcing of IAF.
  4. The risk based annual audit plan.
  5. The arrangements for and the results of the IAF quality assurance processes.
  6. The adequacy of management’s response to internal audit advice and recommendations, including the monitoring of the implementation of agreed action plans.
  7. The independence of the HIA and the IAF from other executive activities undertaken in NCST.
  • Ensure that the HIA has direct access and is accountable to the Finance and Audit Committee.
  • Have final authority to review and approve the annual risk based audit plan and all major changes to the plan.
  • Receive feedback from IAF on the effectiveness of NCST systems of internal control and risk management.
  • Review and monitor management¡¦s responsiveness to findings and recommendations made by the internal auditors as regards both completion and timeliness.
  • Ensure appropriate procedures are in place for the appointment, replacement, reassignment or dismissal of the HIA and on any external organization providing internal audit and assurance services to NCST.
  • At least once per year, jointly with the AAC review the performance of the HIA and concur with the annual compensation and salary adjustment.
  • Review the quality and effectiveness of the IAF, including compliance with The Institute of Internal Auditors¡¦ International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing at least once every three years. The FAC may consider using an Independent Quality Assurance reviewer to under the quality assurance review or obtain feedback from key persons involved win the audit process.
  • Ensure the IAF establishes and maintains a quality assurance and improvement programme.
  • On a regular basis, meet separately with the HIA to discuss any matters that the FAC or HIA believes should be discussed privately.
  • Review with the DG and HIA the Internal Audit Charter, activities, staffing, and organizational structure of the internal audit function.

External Audit

  • Coordinate with the Auditor General on the undertaking of NCST statutory audits and in the compliance of the Audit Act.
  • Review and if appropriate recommend to the Board the adoption of the annual audited financial statements.
  • Coordinate with the Auditor General in the process of hiring a firm of public auditors.
  • Where NCST has hired a firm of public auditors, the FAC shall:
  1. Review the quality and effectiveness of the external audit process and recommend to the Auditor General their re-appointment or discharge at least once every three years.
  2. Coordinate with the Auditor General in reviewing the external auditors¡¦ proposed audit scope and approach, including coordination of audit effort with IAF.
  3. Pre-approve all audit and non-audit services.
  4. Review and confirm the independence of the external auditors by obtaining statements from the auditors on relationships between the auditors and NCST, including non-audit services.
  5. Approve the use of external auditors for non-audit services (to ensure the independence of the auditor is not impaired). Factors to consider while approving such services include the auditor’s own assessment of its independence, measures put in place by the auditors to safeguard their independence, the nature of services being provided, the extent of management’s responsibility over the services being performed, any guidelines issued by relevant professional and regulatory bodies and the composition of the service team.
  6. On a regular basis, meet separately with the external auditors to discuss any matters that the committee or external auditors believe should be discussed privately.
  7. Review ToRs for external auditors

Information Technology Governance
The Board through the FAC is responsible for the governance of ICT. The FAC has delegated the responsibility of implementing the ICT Strategy to Head of Documentation and Information Services. The FAC shall assist the Board to manage ICT through:

  • Jointly with SAC ensure that the ICT strategy is integrated into NCST strategic and business processes.
  • Monitor and evaluating significant investments in ICT to ensure ICT investments add value to NCST.
  • Receive reports from HoFA on the performance of the ICT function.
  • Integrate ICT with NCST risk management strategy.
  • Ensure ICT assets are managed effectively.


  • Through the Board Chairperson ensure the whole Board and each individual Commissioner has a working understanding of the effect of the Act, applicable laws, rules, codes and standards on NCST and its business.
  • Oversee the implementation of an effective system for monitoring compliance with laws and regulations.
  • Oversee the implementation of management¡¦s investigation results and follow-up (including disciplinary action) of any instances of noncompliance.
  • Review the findings of any examinations by regulatory agencies and any auditor (both internal and external) on compliance.
  • Integrate compliance with NCST risk management strategy.
  • Review the process for communicating and complying with NCST Code of Conduct.
  • Obtain regular updates from management and NCST¡¦s legal counsel regarding compliance matters.
  • Ensure that all committees, its members including adhoc committees, and management, are abiding to governance requirements


  • Regularly report to the Board about the FAC activities, issues and related recommendations.
  • Provide an open avenue for communication among finance staff, IAF, the external auditors and the Board.
  • Whistle blowing

The FAC committee:

  • Shall ensure whistle blowing policies and procedures are in place
  • Shall review the institutional arrangements by which NCST staff and other stakeholders may, in confidence, raise concerns about possible improprieties in matters of financial reporting or other matters.
  • Shall ensure that arrangements are in place for the proportionate and independent investigation of matters of impropriety and for appropriate follow-up action.
  • Shall review at least once annually the whistle blowing policies and procedures

Other Responsibilities

  • Institute and oversee special investigations as needed.
  • Retain independent counsel, accountants, or others to advise the committee or assist in the conduct of an investigation.
  • Review and assess the adequacy of the FAC Charter annually, requesting Board approval for proposed changes.
  • Confirm annually that all responsibilities outlined in this charter have been carried out.
  • Evaluate the FAC and individual Members¡¦ performance on a regular basis.
  • Perform other activities related to this Charter as requested by the Board.

Donor funded programmes
The NCST¡¦s FAC shall also provide oversight to any donor funded programme within the NCST. The FAC shall provide this oversight in the same manner it overseas NCST¡¦s secretariat¡¦s operations. In doing so, the FAC will take into account the agreements between NCST and its funders and any other procedures that have been tailored and adopted for the effective implementation and management of the funded programme.In particular, the FAC will;

  • Review and recommend program reports to the Board
  • Review financial related program documents and provide feed back
  • Review program performance
  • Facilitate any feedback required by the finding organisation