Agenda and minutes

Statutory Accounts Committee
Monday, 28 September 2009 6:00 pm

Venue: York House, Richmond Road, Twickenham

Contact: Louise Hall, Democratic Services Officer, 020 8891 7813, Email: 

No. Item





    Members are asked to declare any interests in matters for consideration at the meeting.


    Councillor Cardy declared a personal interest as a representative of the Council on the Richmond Housing Partnership Board.


    Councillor Lourie declared a personal interest as a representative of the Council on the Kew Social Day Centre Board.


    Councillor Samuel declared a personal interest as a representative of the Council on the Richmond Theatre Board.


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    The Audit Commission has issued a Code of Audit Practice 2005 (the Code), which sets out specific guidance for auditors on reporting to their audited bodies.  The Code incorporates the relevant professional auditing standards (currently International Standard on Auditing 260 - ISA 260), that require the Auditor to report key findings from the audit to “those charged with governance”, (commonly referred to as the ISA 260 report), prior to issuing their opinion on the Statement of Accounts and conclusions on the use of resources. The external auditors, PKF, will be attending the Committee to present their report and answer any questions Members may have.


    Report of the Director of Finance and Corporate Services attached.


    Report of the External auditor attached.

    Additional documents:


    The Committee noted the final report of the Auditor to those charged with governance.


    The Committee heard a short presentation from Leigh Lloyd-Thomas of the Council’s external auditors (PKF). Mr Lloyd-Thomas stated that the Auditors were proposing to issue an unqualified opinion on the Statement of Accounts. He highlighted the following sections of the Auditor’s Annual Governance Report:


    • The value for money conclusion (page 11) was that ‘adequate arrangements are in place to secure value for money’. Overall, the Council received a level 3 score – ‘performing well’.
    • The report identified significant issues within the accounts (page 3). The auditors examined in detail the valuation movements and how changes were booked and were happy with this process.
    • The report looked at how the value of land, buildings and commercial property had fallen (page 4). The five-year rolling valuation programme meant that there was still potential to off-set current year losses. The auditors were satisfied that there was no major loss in land and building assets, and that the current loss was offset by unbooked gains in previous years.


    The Committee enquired as to the full meaning of the term ‘adequate’ which was used on page 1 to describe the Data Quality and Key financial systems. Mr Lloyd-Thomas explained that the majority of audits would attribute either the term ‘adequate’ or ‘inadequate’ (where appropriate) and that it is very rare for more positive terms to be used. 


    Mr Lloyd-Thomas noted that bad debt provisions had been reviewed and it was estimated that there was adequate provision. He drew the attention of the Committee to page 5, paragraph 3.23 of the audit report. The devaluation of the pension fund of 1.4 million resulted from a required change in the method of valuing some assets.


    Page 6 of the report noted that there had been some difficulty in receiving information from one directorate but Mr Lloyd-Thomas stated that was in part due to the significant reorganisation that this directorate had undergone.


    Mr Lloyd-Thomas drew the Committee’s attention to the £280k overstatement of the provision balance. This sum could go back into the general fund. The section 117 mental health provision and reserve was recommended for review but no error was booked.


    Mr Lloyd-Thomas referred to Appendix B, the draft letter of representation for the Director of Finance and Corporate Services. On the second page of this document actuary estimates for the pension fund liability were listed.. Also included was reference to recommended building cost indices.


    The Director of Finance stated that he had taken advice from the appropriate officers in order to be able to sign the declaration. The Leader and Chairman of the Statutory Accounts Committee stated that he would also be happy to sign his section of the declaration, following the receipt of the signature of the Director of Finance.


    The Committee enquired as to how the overall score of 2 had been arrived at for the ‘Governing the business’ evaluation as set out on page 11 of the Auditor’s  ...  view the full minutes text for item 20.


Updated: 4 April 2014