Agenda and minutes
Statutory Accounts Committee
Friday, 16 September 2011 12:00 pm
Venue: York House, Richmond Road, Twickenham
Contact: Louise Hall, Democratic Services Officer, 020 8891 7813, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To receive apologies from any members of the committee unable to attend.
No apologies were received.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members are asked to declare any interests in matters for consideration at the meeting.
There were no declarations of interest.
To approve the minutes of the meeting held on 29 September 2010.
The minutes of the meeting held on 29th September were agreed as a correct records and the Chairman authorised to sign them.
REPRESENTATIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC (IF ANY)
To hear representations from members of the public registered to speak.
There were no representations from members of the public.
To receive the report of the External Auditors in line with the Code of Audit Practice 2010 (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, Audit Commission, 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.
The Committee received a report from the Director of Finance and Corporate Services containing the Annual Governance Report. Steve Carter – the Chief Accountant, Mark Maidment – Director of Finance and Corporate Services, Sarah Ironmonger – the Audit Manager and Lindsey Mallors – the District Auditor, were in attendance to answer questions on the report.
The Chief Accountant introduced the report. He explained that the responsibility for signing accounts off as a true representation had become the responsibility of the Director of Finance and Corporate Services in June 2011. He highlighted the following key points from the report:
· The underspend from 2010 had been added to the reserves.
· The pension fund deficit had decreased and the current figure was £111m.
The Director of Finance and Corporate Services explained that the Statement of Accounts 2010/2011 had contained more disclosure and detail than previously. He stated that, as in previous years, a simplified short overview document would be produced to make headline information more accessible to the public.
The Committee was impressed with the high standard of the Statement of Accounts and its timely production. The Chairman, on behalf on the Committee, thanked the Director, the Chief Accountant, the Council Officers and members of the Audit Commission, for their work towards the Statement of Accounts.
The Committee discussed the issues raised within the Audit Commission’s, Annual Governance Report and the following points were raised:
· Members questioned the statement ‘Within Adult Care Services aspects of service delivery were identified as being high cost.’ The auditor explained the statement was in relation to how the Council used benchmark comparisons to identify areas of higher cost and that officers had been able to demonstrate that action was taken to address the identified areas. Members questioned which areas within Adult Care Services were identified as higher cost. The Director of Finance and Corporate Services responded that the areas included residential care and domiciliary care.
· The Governments decision to change the calculation of future pension benefits from the Retail Price Index to the Consumer Price Index had changed the estimated future pension liabilities which had impacted on the estimated pension deficit. The estimated deficit was based on a ‘snapshot’ in time and a recent change in stock market values would also impact on the current estimate.
The previous District Auditor was dealing with an elector objection raised relating to the financial year 2009/10. This had prevented the issuing of the 2009/10 Audit Certificate and therefore the 2010/11 Audit Certificate also could not be issued. In addition, further elector queries had been raised with regards to car parking fines. The current and proceeding district auditors were working together to agree the best way to consider all outstanding issues. The current District Auditor was confident that the issues were not material to the financial statements. Therefore the opinion and value for money conclusion would be issued following the approval of the Pension Fund Accounts at the Pension Fund Committee meeting on 27 September.
The External Auditor explained that ... view the full minutes text for item 15.