Venue: Meeting will be held in accordance with provisions of SI 2020/392. Link to the live stream will be found at https://www.tendringdc.gov.uk/livemeetings
Contact: Ian Ford Email: email@example.com or Telephone 01255 686584
Apologies for Absence and Substitutions
The Committee is asked to note any apologies for absence and substitutions received from Members.
Apologies for absence were submitted on behalf of Councillor Miles (with Councillor M E Stephenson substituting).
Councillor Stephenson informed the Committee that he had not received recent training on audit matters as required under Council Procedure Rules 34.3 and 34.4. However, he had been advised by Officers that he could participate in the meeting and ask questions etc. but that he would not be allowed to take part in the voting on any report(s) before the Committee.
To confirm as a correct record, the minutes of the last meeting of the Committee, held on Thursday 1 October 2020.
The Minutes of the last meeting of the Committee held on 1 October 2020 were approved as a correct record.
Declarations of Interest
Councillors are invited to declare any Disclosable Pecuniary Interests or Personal Interest, and the nature of it, in relation to any item on the agenda.
There were no declarations of interest made on this occasion.
Questions on Notice pursuant to Council Procedure Rule 38
Subject to providing two working days’ notice, a Member of the Committee may ask the Chairman of the Committee a question on any matter in relation to which the Council has powers or duties which affect the Tendring District and which falls within the terms of reference of the Committee.
There were no Questions on Notice on this occasion.
· The Annual Governance Statement 2019/20 for approval;
· The External Auditor’s Audit Completion Report for the year ended 31 March 2020, which includes the management representation letter, for consideration and approval, to enable a final opinion on the accounts and value for money arrangements to be formally issued by the External Auditor; and
· The Statement of Accounts 2019/20 for consideration and approval for publication by the end of November 2020.
There was a report submitted by the Council’s Assistant Director (Finance & IT) (report A.1) which presented:-
(i) the Annual Governance Statement 2019/20 for approval;
(ii) the External Auditor’s Audit Completion Report for the year ended 31 March 2020 (which included the management representation letter, for consideration and approval, in order to enable a final opinion on the accounts and value for money arrangements to be formally issued by the External Auditor; and
(iii) the Statement of Accounts 2019/20 for consideration and approval for publication by the end of November 2020.
It was reported that the pre-audited Statement of Accounts for 2019/20 had been approved for publication by the Council’s Section 151 Officer (the Assistant Director (Finance & IT)) at the end of August 2020.
Members were reminded that each year the Council’s External Auditors were required to prepare an annual report setting out the outcomes from their review of the Statement of Accounts (including the Annual Governance Statement) and the Council’s value for money arrangements. The Audit Committee was then required to consider the content of that annual report and approve for publication the final audited Statement of Accounts and Annual Governance Statement.
The Committee was advised that a draft management representation letter which set out certain management representations was included within pages 48 to 50 of the External Auditor’s Audit Completion Report. The Audit Committee were also required to separately approve this letter and to authorise the Assistant Director (Finance & IT) and the Chairman of the Committee to sign it before it was forwarded on to the External Auditor.
Once the above tasks had been completed the External Auditor would conclude the audit by finalising and formally issuing their audit opinion along with the certification of the accounts.
(1) STATEMENT OF ACCOUNTS 2019/2020 AND EXTERNAL AUDITOR’S AUDIT COMPLETION REPORT
The Committee was informed that, although the External Auditor had substantially completed their audit of the 2019/20 accounts a small number of activities remained outstanding (as set out on page 40 of the External Auditor’s Audit Completion Report). However, it was the External Auditor’s current intention to issue an unqualified audit opinion in respect of the Financial Statements and on the Council’s arrangements to secure economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources.
However, a number of improvements/adjustments had been required (with further details set out on pages 20 and 23 of the Audit Completion Report). A number of those adjustments had related to the need to highlight the potential impact of COVID-19 on the Council’s financial position and resilience. It was highlighted that the Annual Governance Statement had already reflected on this matter and as part of the associated actions, it would form an important element of the Internal Audit Plan in 2020/21 and 2021/22.
It was, however, noted that those adjusted items did not have a direct impact on the overall 2019/20 financial position of the Council.
The Committee was further informed that, in respect of other matters arising, the External Auditor had made three recommendations which were ... view the full minutes text for item 12.