Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Chairman welcomed Darren Wells from Grant Thornton to the meeting who proceeded to summarise the External Auditors’ Annual Audit Letter for the year ended 31 March 2019. The External Auditors’ Annual Audit Letter 2018/19 summarised the key issues arising from the work that had been carried out by Grant Thornton in the areas of Financial Statements and Use of Resources.
Financial Statements – Grant Thornton issued an unqualified opinion on the Council’s financial statements on 9 September 2019. The Council’s accounts were prepared to a high standard. The only material adjustments related to pension assets and liabilities, which were amended to reflect final figures provided by the Council’s actuary after the draft accounts had been prepared.
Use of Resources – Grant Thornton was satisfied that in all significant respects, the Council put in place proper arrangements for securing economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources for the year ending 31 March 2019.
Grant Thornton had not identified any matters which required them to exercise their additional statutory powers. One risk was considered in the issue of Value for Money, but was found to be sufficiently mitigated.
Grant Thornton also carried out works to certify the Council’s Housing Benefit subsidy claim on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions. The results would be reported at the next meeting of the Audit and Standards Committee.
The fees charged for services were detailed at the end of the letter. Due to the requirement for additional work to be carried out over and above that originally envisaged in the audit plan, there was a proposed fee variation which was subject to approval by the Public Sector Audit Appointments.
Mr Wells advised that the issues which had resulted in the late completion of the Council’s audit were being addressed.
In summary, Grant Thornton assured Members that the finances of the Council were being well managed by a well-run team and the Council’s staff were thanked for the assistance and co-operation provided to the auditors.
RESOLVED: That the report be noted.
Publication date: 13/03/2020
Date of decision: 09/12/2019
Decided at meeting: 09/12/2019 - Audit and Standards Committee