Issue - meetings

External Auditor's Audit Findings Report 2014/15

Meeting: 21/09/2015 - Audit, Governance and Standards Committee (Item 29)

29 External Auditor's Audit Findings Report 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 68 KB

Additional documents:


The Senior Accountant (Client) introduced the report of the Head of Finance and Resources setting out the audited Statement of Accounts for 2014/15 for approval by the Committee in accordance with the amended Accounts and Audit Regulations 2011, the External Auditor’s Audit Findings Report and the Letter of Representation written by the Council to the External Auditor.  It was noted that:


·  None of the amendments to the Accounts identified during the audit process had affected the Council’s General Fund balance as at 31 March 2015.  A number of other minor changes had also been made to improve the presentation and clarity of the Statement of Accounts. 


·  The Audit Findings Report also included a review of Value for Money, and concluded that in all significant respects the Council had put in place proper arrangements to secure economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the use of its resources for the year ending 31 March 2015.


·  The External Auditor was required to provide the Value for Money conclusion based on two criteria specified by the Audit Commission.


·  To this end, a review had been undertaken of six risk areas to assess the Council’s performance against the Audit Commission’s criteria.  The assessment of each risk area was summarised using a red, amber or green rating based on the following definitions:


Green - Adequate arrangements

Amber - Adequate arrangements with areas for development

Red - Inadequate arrangements


·  Overall, the Council was rated as green across all areas reviewed.  Three residual risks were identified and rated as amber.  These risks relating to slippage in the Capital Programme, strategic financial planning and the effectiveness of services being delivered through the Mid-Kent Partnership would be revisited as part of the audit planning work for 2015/16.  Recommendations relating to these risks were included in the Action Plan, attached as Appendix A to the Audit Findings Report, together with the Management response.


·  The External Auditor intended to issue an unqualified opinion on the 2014/15 Statement of Accounts and an unqualified Value for Money conclusion.


In response to questions by Members, the Officers/representatives of the External Auditor explained that:


·  In the past, in the main, slippage had occurred in the Capital Programme due to factors outside the Council’s control.  The Capital Programme for the last few years had relied on programmes of work such as the programme of work for play areas, and sometimes projects within those programmes had not been specified as clearly as they could have been and alternative schemes were not prioritised effectively resulting in slippage.  Discussions were taking place to identify a more robust process for prioritising capital projects and delivering them within the planned timeframe to ensure the use of resources to the best effect.


·  The Council had agreed some years ago to set aside New Homes Bonus funding to part fund the implementation of the Infrastructure Delivery Plan associated with the Local Plan, but decisions had yet to be made as to where the schemes would be delivered.  The Council had also agreed to resource some  ...  view the full minutes text for item 29