About Us

Audit, Risk and Assurance Committee

Our Audit, Risk and Assurance Committee provides advice and support on financial integrity and sustainability.

The Audit, Risk and Assurance Committee (ARAC) advises our Board and supports the Accountable Officer, Alex Paterson, on financial stewardship and accountability, risk control and governance. 


The committee has a membership of three non-executive members and one co-opted member who is not a member of the Historic Environment Scotland (HES) Board. At least one member of ARAC must have appropriate expertise in financial accounting or auditing and, ideally, at least one member should be a member of the Historic Environment Scotland Enterprise (HESe) Board.

The current members of ARAC are: 

  • Ian Brennan (Chair)
  • Terry Levinthal (HES Board member)
  • Andrew Davis (HES Board member)
  • Wendy Ferguson (Co-opted Member)


The committee’s main objective is to provide assurance on the processes of governance within the HES Group and create an environment that ensures financial and wider business integrity and sustainability.

ARAC advises the HES and HESe Boards and Accountable Officer on the strategic processes for risk management, including an assurance that the risk appetite of the organisation decided by the HES Board is taken into account.

The remit of ARAC includes: 

  • agreeing annual external and internal audit plans and reviewing audit reports 
  • scrutinising, challenging and reporting to our Board on the annual report, accounts and Accountable Officer’s Governance Statement 
  • alerting our Board to issues that pose a material risk to the delivery of our vision and strategic outcomes 
  • advising and supporting the Accountable Officer in managing risks that might prejudice delivery of our strategic outcomes, operational performance, levels of service and compliance with relevant statutory obligations 
  • assisting the Accountable Officer in operating and improving internal controls and advising on measures to mitigate risks 
  • providing assurance around governance issues which may arise from the Scottish Government 
  • reviewing counter-fraud policies, whistle-blowing processes and any other policies necessary for our Board

ARAC reviews the work and findings of both our internal and external auditors, and considers the implications of and responses to their work. 

Meeting and reporting 

The committee meets at least four times a year. It reports on key issues to the Board following each meeting.