Report of the Group Director of Operations
The Group Director of Operations submitted a report (previously circulated) to provide Members with an update on the situation with regards to the Council’s Annual Statement of Accounts (SoA) and Annual Governance Statement (AGS) for 2020/21.
It was reported that due to the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic the Accounts and Audit (Amendment) Regulations 2021 had been issued to update the statutory deadlines for publication of annual accounts. Whereas the original date for publication (and approval) was 31 July 2021 this had now been amended to 30 September 2021 as was mentioned in a report on the Redmond review to this Committee on 27 January 2021.
It was further reported that the unaudited SoA and AGS will be on the website by 31 July 2021, the external auditors Ernst and Young (EY) had informed the authority that they will not be in a position to deliver the audit by 30 September 2021 and will look to perform the audit throughout October and early November. An open letter to Chief Finance Officers and Audit Committee Chairs setting out the national stance of EY and the circumstances and background behind the position taken was also submitted with the report.
Members agreed to arrange a meeting with EY in September to provide an opportunity to raise any questions Members may have on the Audit.
RESOLVED – (a) That the position be noted.
(b) That, with the approval of the Chair, a special meeting of this Audit Committee be arranged in December 2021 to ensure the SoA and AGS is approved as quickly as possible.