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AUDIT, GOVERNANCE AND STANDARDS COMMITTEE

18 March 2019

 

External Audit Progress Report March 2019

 

Final Decision-Maker

Audit, Governance and Standards Committee

Lead Head of Service/Lead Director

Mark Green, Director of Finance and Business Improvement

Lead Officer and Report Author

Chris Hartgrove, Interim Head of Finance

Classification

Public

Wards affected

All

 

Executive Summary

The Committee is invited to consider the report of the external auditor, which provides an update on progress with the 2018/19 audit and offers a summary of emerging national issues and developments of relevance to the local government sector.

 

Representatives of Grant Thornton will be in attendance at the meeting to present their report and respond to questions.

 

 

This report makes the following recommendations to this Committee:

That the External Audit Progress Report attached at Appendix A be noted.

 

 

 

Timetable

Meeting

Date

Audit, Governance and Standards Committee

18 March 2019



External Audit Progress Report March 2019

 

 

1.        INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

 

1.1     External audit services to the Council are provided by Grant Thornton, following their appointment by Public Sector Audit Appointments Ltd (PSAA) for the period from 2018/19 to 2022/23.

 

1.2     The report attached at Appendix A provides an update on progress with the 2018/19 audit and informs committee members of a number of relevant emerging issues and developments.

 

 

2.        AVAILABLE OPTIONS

 

2.1     It is recommended that the committee consider and note this report. The committee could choose not to consider this report.† However, this option is not recommended, as the report is intended to assist the committee in discharging its responsibilities in relation to external audit and governance.

 

3.        PREFERRED OPTION AND REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

 

3.1     It is recommended that the committee notes the report. The report details the external auditorís plan for ensuring the delivery of the audit opinion and value for money conclusion by the statutory deadline and notes the significant risks identified, and the anticipated audit fee. It is considered appropriate for the committee to receive this information at this time.

 

 

4.       RISK

4.1     This report supports the committee in the delivery of its governance responsibilities. It also helps to mitigate the risk of non-compliance with the statutory timetable for the production and audit of the annual accounts through timely communication of any potential issues.

 

 

 

5.       CONSULTATION RESULTS AND PREVIOUS COMMITTEE FEEDBACK

 

5.1    No consultation has been undertaken in relation to this matter.

 

 

 

6.       NEXT STEPS: COMMUNICATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECISION

 

6.1    Next steps are outlined within Appendix A.

 

 

 

7.       CROSS-CUTTING ISSUES AND IMPLICATIONS

 

Issue

Implications

Sign-off

Impact on Corporate Priorities

We do not expect the

recommendations will by themselves materially affect

achievement of corporate priorities. However, production

of an annual Statement of Accounts which is free from material or significant error is a

key element of demonstrating

accountability and value for money. It is therefore important

that the Statement of Accounts meets this requirement.

Director of Finance and Business Improvement

Risk Management

See section 4.

Director of Finance and Business Improvement

Financial

There are no direct financial implications arising from the report, although the opinion on

the financial statements and value for money conclusion are one mechanism through which the council demonstrates financial accountability.

Director of Finance and Business Improvement

Staffing

None identified.

Director of Finance and Business Improvement

Legal

The audit of the Councilís Statement of Accounts is a statutory obligation.† There are no specific legal implications arising from this report.

Director of Finance and Business Improvement

Privacy and Data Protection

None identified.

Director of Finance and Business Improvement

Equalities

None identified.

Director of Finance and Business Improvement

Public Health

None identified.

Director of Finance and Business Improvement

Crime and Disorder

None identified.

Director of Finance and Business Improvement

Procurement

None identified.

Director of Finance and Business Improvement

 

 

 

 

8.        REPORT APPENDICES

 

The following document is to be published with this report and forms part of the report:

         Appendix A: External Auditorís Progress Report, March 2019

 

 

 

9.        BACKGROUND PAPERS

 

None.