Audit, Governance & Standards Committee

17 September 2018

 

External Auditorís Annual Audit Letter

 

Final Decision-Maker

Audit, Governance and Standards Committee

Lead Head of Service/Lead Director

Mark Green, Director of Finance & Business Improvement

Lead Officer and Report Author

Ellie Dunnet, Head of Finance

Classification

Public

Wards affected

None

 

Executive Summary

 

The Annual Audit Letter summarises the main findings from the work undertaken by the external auditor for the year ended 31 March 2018, and brings the audit process for 2017/18 to a close.

 

 

This report makes the following recommendations to this Committee:

1.   That the External Auditorís Annual Audit Letter for the year ending 31 March 2018, attached at appendix 1 is noted.

 

 

Timetable

Meeting

Date

Audit, Governance & Standards Committee

17 September 2018



External Auditorís Annual Audit Letter

 

 

 

1.††††† INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

 

1.1     The Annual Audit Letter summarises the main findings from the work undertaken by the external auditor for the year ended 31 March 2018.† Representatives from Grant Thornton will be in attendance at the meeting to present the letter and respond to any questions which Committee members may have.

1.2     It is recommended that this document is considered by the committee in accordance with the terms of reference detailed within the councilís Constitution.

 

1.3     The Committee considered the External Auditorís Audit Findings report for the year ending 31 March 2018 at its meeting on 30 July 2018.† The Annual Audit Letter at Appendix 1 summarises the key findings arising from the audit and effectively concludes this process by confirming that:

 

-      The external auditor gave an unqualified opinion on the Council's accounts on 31 July 2018; and

-      The external auditor is satisfied that in all significant respects the Council put in place proper arrangements to secure economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources for the year ending 31 March 2018.

 

 

2.        AVAILABLE OPTIONS

 

2.1     The Committee is asked to note this report for the reasons outlined within section 3.1 below.

 

2.2     The Committee could choose not to acknowledge the comments made by the external auditor.† This option is not recommended since the report offers an independent view of how the authority is operating.

 

 

3.        PREFERRED OPTION AND REASONS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS

 

3.1     It is recommended that the Committee notes the External Auditorís Annual Audit Letter included at Appendix 1 to this report and considers whether any recommendations should be made to other committees.† As the Committee charged with governance, receiving regular reports from the external auditor is considered to play an important role in ensuring that this responsibility is discharged effectively.

 

 

4.       RISK

4.1     This report is presented for information only and has no risk management implications.

 

 

5.       CONSULTATION RESULTS AND PREVIOUS COMMITTEE FEEDBACK

 

5.1     No formal consultation has been undertaken in relation to this report.†

 

5.2     This Committee previously considered the External Auditorís Audit Findings report for the year ending 31 March 2018 as part of the formal adoption of the annual financial statements for the 2017/18 financial year.

 

 

6.       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, the Council is committed to delivering on its priorities and securing value for money through effective governance.† This letter is one measure of how effective the council has been in delivering against this commitment.

Head of Finance

Risk Management

This report is presented for information only and has no risk management implications.

Head of Finance

Financial

The financial implications arising from the work of external audit are detailed within Appendix 1.

Head of Finance

Staffing

No implications identified.

 

Head of Finance

Legal

†The terms of reference for the Audit and Governance Committee specifically require the

Committee to consider the external auditorís annual letter.

 

†Team Leader (Corporate Governance), MKLS

Privacy and Data Protection

No implications identified.

 

Head of Finance

Equalities

No implications identified.

 

Head of Finance

Crime and Disorder

No implications identified.

 

Head of Finance

Procurement

No implications identified.

 

Head of Finance

 

7.        REPORT APPENDICES

 

The following documents are to be published with this report and form part of the report:

         Appendix 1: External Auditors Annual Audit Letter

 

 

8.        BACKGROUND PAPERS

 

Audited Statement of Accounts 2017/18

http://www.maidstone.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/190710/Audited-Annual-Accounts-2017.pdf

 

Audit Findings Report 2017/18

https://meetings.maidstone.gov.uk/documents/s61831/Appendix%201%20-%20External%20Auditors%20Audit%20Findings%20Report.pdf