56 2018/19 Statement of Accounts including the Annual Governance Statement PDF 63 KB
The Chairman of Audit Scrutiny Committee presented the Statement of Accounts 2018/19 which had been considered by Audit Scrutiny Committee for Council approval.
Members were advised of the delay by Grant Thornton in the annual audit of the accounts and that there had been an increase in fees caused by the additional work that Grant Thornton had had to undertake to look at the potential impact of the McCloud Pension case judgement. This unprecedented case could possibly impact all Local Authorities, a note had been added to the Council’s accounts regarding the potential financial liability impact to the Council of £1.2 million. Council officers were continuing dialogue to look to mitigate or reduce the proposed increase in fees.
The recommendation was proposed the Chairman of Audit Scrutiny Committee seconded by Councillor J Petherick and carried.
1) the 2018/19 Statement of Accounts be approved including the Annual Governance Statement and letter of representation as recommended by the Audit Scrutiny Committee subject to any final adjustments agreed with the external auditors to be reported to Council; and
2) the Audit Findings Report from Grant Thornton be note and the actions arising from the action plan be approved.
27 Grant Thornton Audit Findings Report - year ended 31 March 2019 PDF 564 KB
Ms Julie Masci Engagement Lead from Grant Thornton gave a summary of the Audit outcomes:-
· Financial Statements – had identified no adjustments affecting the Council’s Comprehensive Income and Expenditure Statement or other key primary statements; concluded that the other information to be published with the financial statements was consistent with the knowledge of the Council and the financial statements that had been audited.
· Value for Money Arrangements - completed the risk based review of the Council’s value for money arrangements; concluded that Teignbridge District Council had proper arrangements to secure economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources. In particular the review of officer reports on investment opportunities and the information produced to substantiate the work covered and risk.
· Statutory Duties – had not exercised any of the additional statutory powers or duties; completed the majority of work under the Code and expect to be able to certify the completion of the audit.
The audit was completed in the agreed time extension and Grant Thornton thanked the Finance team and other staff for their support.
Ms Masci outlined the significant findings of the audit risks:-
Management override of controls - noted that the Section 151 officer had the ability to, and had, posted journals - tested all of these journals and had identified no issues. All journals had been reviewed by Grant Thornton and found to be in good order.
Valuation of pension’s net liability – worked not identified any issues in respect of this risk discussions were on going in the sector regarding the potential impact of the McCloud judgement. This additional work had resulted in additional fees being incurred although the Public Sector Audit Appointments (PSAA) would have to approve any additional fees.
The Chief Finance Officer noted the comments regarding the issues of posting journal’s and advised that steps were being taken place to reduce the need to post journals in the future. He advised that the Council would be having further dialogue with the PSAA regarding the additional fees.
During discussion Members commented on the Chief Finance Officer undertaking journals, the valuation of the housing stock, the additional work required due to the McCloud judgement and the subsequent additional proposed fees. Members raised concerns regarding the additional fees and supported the Council’s dialogue with the PSAA to have these mitigated or reduced.
Andrew Davies the Audit Manager from Grant Thornton commented on the Value for Money Conclusion and that as like many other local authorities the need for Members to be aware of the future funding gaps that the Council would face in the medium term and what the Council could do to bridge this funding gap.
RESOLVED that the findings of the report be noted and supported officers to continue dialogue with the PSAA regarding the mitigation of the additional fees.