Agenda item

To present for approval the Audit Committee’s proposed work programme covering the period April 2021 to March 2022.


There was submitted a report by the Council’s Assistant Director (Finance & IT)(report A.2) which presented for approval the Committee’s proposed work programme for the period April 2021 to March 2022. The work programme was before the Committee as an Appendix to the report.


Members were aware that, in addition to the regulatory and statutory activities undertaken by the Committee such as the Statement of Accounts, Corporate Governance and Risk Management, the Committee was also required to review and scrutinise:


·           the work and performance of the Internal Audit function;

·           the outcomes from the work of the Council’s External Auditor; and

·           progress made against audit recommendations and other items identified by the Committee.


Members were made further aware that, during the year, other matters apart from those set out above might be presented to the Committee for consideration. Given the on-going regulatory and statutory workload and the various additional activities undertaken by the Committee, any additional items that might arise would need to be considered against the proposed work programme and included for reporting at the appropriate meeting, or considered for inclusion in subsequent work programmes.


Although not included in the formal work programme, it was recognised that the Committee might wish to develop training opportunities, especially going into 2021/22 following the revised mandatory training requirements for members of the Committee. Such opportunities would either form part of future meetings or, where necessary, separate arrangements would be made.


The Committee was aware that there had been a significant impact on resources over the past year due to the on-going COVID 19 pandemic, which had had a knock-on effect on the timing of specific activities and associated reporting, so it had not been possible to present a number of items originally planned for this meeting of the Committee. However, in consultation with the Chairman of the Committee, it was proposed to include an additional meeting in April 2021 in order to enable those outstanding items to be completed and presented to the Committee as timely as possible, given that the next formal meeting after March 2021 would ordinarily be in July 2021.   


It was reported that another impact from COVID 19 was the change in the timetable for the production and audit of the Council’s Statement of Accounts. The Government had decided to implement this change on an initial two year period, which reflected their initial response to the wider Redmond review recommendations. The change to the timetable was as follows:


Key Activity


Existing Date

Revised Date

Publication date for Draft Statement of Accounts (Pre-Audit)


1 June

1 August

Publication date for Final Statement of Accounts (Audited)


31 July

30 September


The Committee was informed that the above change could be accommodated within the existing timetable of meetings, but the Final Statement of Accounts would now be presented to the September meeting of the Committee instead of the July meeting of the Committee.


In addition to the above, the Council was still waiting for the Government’s response to the wider Redmond review into the effectiveness of external audit. It was currently proposed to update the Committee as part of the Table of Outstanding Issues reports included within the work programme rather than it featuring as a stand-alone item. However, this would be reviewed once the Government had formally announced their response.


It was also reported that, as the year progressed, it might be necessary to review items on the work programme as some reports / activities and associated timescales could be subject to change or would need to be flexible, especially given the current impact of the coronavirus pandemic which might see disruption continue over a prolonged period of time. As appropriate, the Chairman of the Committee would be consulted on any significant changes to the work programme.


Having considered the proposed Work Programme it was moved by Councillor Fairley, seconded by Councillor Placey and:-


RESOLVED that the Audit Committee’s Work Programme for 2021/22 be approved, subject to the Annual Review of the Anti-Fraud and Corruption Strategy being moved to a later meeting of the Committee from its originally scheduled meeting in January 2022.

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