The Team

Managers Pen Pictures

 

Robert Hutchins – ACMA
Head of Devon Audit Partnership

Robert is a qualified management accountant with a wide range of post qualification experience. As Head of the Partnership, he has responsibility for delivering the internal audit service for all our partners and clients.

He previously worked in the private sector where he managed a number of internal and external audit contracts, predominately in the not-for-profit sector. His clients included Higher and Further Education institutions, Housing Associations and Health organisations.

Robert has also previously managed large finance teams; most recently he managed the finance team providing financial support and advice for the learning disability and mental health functions of a local Council and Health Authority (combined gross budget of circa £60m).

He is passionate that the Partnership provides professional, high performing, cost effective services for public sector organisations. He strongly believes that this quality comes from a well trained and highly motivated team who share the same passions. He has a reputation for “continually improving” teams, and appreciates the value that can be gained from close working with customers to ensure services delivered meet current and future requirements.

We consider that Robert’s range of skills and considerable experience will ensure that our service will reach “excellent” standard.

 

David Curnow
Deputy Head of Devon Audit Partnership

David supports the Head of Internal Audit in delivering a professional service across a range of not for profit sector clients. David has over 25 years of experience in delivering and managing audit services in the public sector. As Deputy Head of the Partnership, he has overview responsibility for the relationship and management of internal audit services to clients including Plymouth City, Devon County Council, Torbay Council and a large number of maintained and academy schools.

David is enthusiastic about delivery of a high quality customer focused audit service for clients. He is recognised for continually improving audit services and championing cost effective delivery of client audit needs. David appreciates the added value that can be gained from close working with customers.

David co-ordinates a highly respected and effective school audit team across 3 Authorities and has been working with and supporting schools for over 15 years and has wide experience in educational institutions at all levels including further and higher education. David has designed and implemented internal audit services to academy schools. He led and supported schools through the implementation and accreditation of financial management standards.

A LA accredited trainer, David has designed and delivered many training events and he facilitates risk management workshops with clients. David has championed the delivery of new audit services to academies on behalf of CIPFA at southern regional meetings.

David has previously worked in a wide range of core financial service teams in Local Authority.

 

Dominic Measures – BA, CPFA
Audit Manager – Schools, South Hams District Council, West Devon District Council, Dartmoor National Park, Exmoor National Park, Coaver Club and various other clients concerning European Grant Funding.

Dominic has over 24 years of experience in Internal Audit, the last 15 as an Audit Manager. He currently leads a team of skilled and experienced auditors dealing with Procurement, Contract Management, Project Management and investigation of fraud and irregularity at Plymouth, Devon and Torbay Councils.

He has been involved in a large number of major procurements, including construction and out-sourcing of services as well as business system implementation projects, providing advice, support and assurance on project management, risk management and best practice, during all stages of the project cycle.

Dominic works with clients on Transformation Programmes providing support and challenge on areas such as governance, resource, risk and financial management as well as benefits realisation. Dominic has knowledge of Prince2 and P3M3 project methodologies and recently undertaken project maturity assessments for clients to help them benchmark current performance and effectively develop plans for improvement.

Since 2012, Dominic has lead a team providing First Level Controller services to projects in receipt of a range of European grants funding, including Interreg and ESIF. These have involved a variety of organisations and sectors at both partner and lead partner levels including Local Government, Universities, “Not-for-profit” organisations, Charities and voluntary groups both in UK and Europe.

 

Lynda Sharp-Woods
Audit Manager – Torbay Council, Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, Teignbridge District Council, Peninsula Pensions, Devon Pension Fund and Avon Pension Fund

Lynda effectively supports the Head of the Devon Audit Partnership in providing a consistently high quality service to our clients and partners. Her skilled team undertakes audits across a wide and diverse range of functions and services and also provides the core financial systems audit work that is integral to the client’s external audit managed audit approach.

Lynda has worked in the local government internal audit field for over 25 years, the majority of which managing various audit services including IT Audit, and prior to this worked within Finance in local government and in private practice undertaking external audit across a range of clients; she uses this breadth and wealth of experience, exceptional knowledge of the core financial systems, former computer audit experience and knowledge of project management to provide a robust and valued audit service. Combining these elements with knowledge and experience of various advances in auditing approaches, for example risk based auditing, compliance with internal audit standards, lean auditing, Lynda delivers an effective and efficient audit service, whilst also actively developing the team and thereby ensuring that the service provision is one of continuous improvement which has consistently met and exceeded client expectations helping to maintain the customer service excellence accreditation for the Partnership.

Lynda is also instrumental in developing new business opportunities within the Partnership, and in relation to internal audit processes as shown in her work in combining and aligning working practices during the formation of the Devon Audit Partnership and her active involvement in the selection, implementation and development of the Partnership’s audit management software. Always innovative, Lynda continues to work with the other managers to further develop and share good auditing practices and new approaches across all the partners and clients of the Devon Audit Partnership.

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Chris Elliott – CMIIA
Audit Manager – Devon County Council, Devon and Cornwall Police and the Office of Police and Crime Commissioner, Devon & Severn IFCA

Chris leads a team of knowledgeable, skilled and experienced auditors delivering an audit service to the People Directorates of Devon County Council, Plymouth City Council and the Children, Schools & Families Directorate of Torbay Council. Chris has over 20 years experience of working in Internal Audit . Prior to joining DAP Chris worked for Torbay Council for 13 years and prior to that for Ryedale District Council in North Yorkshire.

Working at these different authorities has provided Chris with the opportunity to gain audit experience and knowledge of an extensive range of District, Borough, Unitary and County Council services and functions. Over this time Chris has gained audit knowledge and experience in the fields of Housing, Leisure, Key Financial Systems, Contracts, Fraud & Irregularity, Environment Services and Social Care.

 

Brenda Davis – CMIIA, QIAL,  CIA
Audit Manager – Plymouth City Council

Brenda is a chartered internal auditor with a postgraduate diploma in management studies and is responsible for managing a team of auditors who deliver services primarily to Plymouth City Council. Brenda has previously delivered audit services to Devon County Council, her risk management experience enabling her to make valuable contributions as the audit representative on the Corporate Risk Management Group. Brenda is responsible for developing the audit plans for her clients and servicing audit and scrutiny committees. Her team provide audit reviews, consultancy and advice across the corporate centre including key financial systems, transformation programmes, risk management and corporate governance and for ‘Place’ which includes areas such as planning, transport and infrastructure, environmental services and economic development.

Brenda has a rich mix of experience within local government having held positions in areas such as Leisure Services, Revenues and Benefits and Community Development prior to joining the internal audit service in 2000. Previous experience within internal audit also includes social care and schools.

Brenda has also worked with transformational change groups and on the implementation of large projects such as payroll / HR systems as well as leading on the implementation of DAP’s MKinsight audit management system. This breadth of knowledge enables Brenda and her team to deliver and effective service to clients, including the sharing of best practice.

 

Ken Johnson– ACFS
Counter Fraud Services Manager

Ken is a qualified Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist, who has wide range of career and life experience. He currently manages a team of qualified investigators and support officers who are recognised nationally (Alarm Risk Awards, Team of the Year) for mitigating the risks associated with fraudulent activity across local government and beyond. He has worked in the field of counter fraud for over 5 years as an investigator and 7 years as a manager.

He is a highly motivated individual who is passionate about protecting the public purse, against those who would steal funds, goods and services from the public sector.

Ken has presented and spoken publicly at national and local levels on the subject of counter fraud and the need for being honest about fraud, with one of his published articles appearing in the national journal of Alarm (Public Risk Management) “Face up to Fraud”. He organised and ran the very successful Devon Social Housing Fraud project from start to finish resulting in a conservatively estimated return of £1,062,000.00 in non-cashable savings for the initial investment of £200k obtained from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Having personally undertaken hundreds of criminal fraud investigations and overseen thousands of these cases over the past 12 years, Ken has a long proven record and experience of using a whole range of sanctions including prosecution through the courts system to resolve frauds against Local Authorities.

Ken and his team provide a professional full investigation service which includes awareness training and support for staff and managers in any organisation that wants to minimise its exposure to the risks associated with fraud.