Venue: Council Chamber, Daneshill House, Danestrete
Contact: Ian Gourlay (01438) 242703 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
APPOINTMENT OF PERSON TO PRESIDE
To appoint a person to preside over the element of the meeting which will be held jointly with the Audit Committee.
It was RESOLVED that Councillor Teresa Callaghan be appointed to preside over the meeting which was held jointly with the Audit Committee.
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
There were no apologies for absence.
There were no declarations of interest.
The Committee is requested to receive a presentation from the Strategic Director (CF) on the External Auditor’s Annual Report for consideration and approval and the audited 2019/20 Financial Report including the Statement of Accounts.
Following the presentation, Members will be invited to ask questions of clarification.
At this juncture the Statement of Accounts Committee will adjourn to allow the Audit Committee to consider the report and to agree to any recommendations.
At the rise of the Audit Committee the Statement of Accounts Committee will reconvene and Members will receive details of any recommendations from the Audit Committee on this matter.
The Audit Committee and the Statement of Accounts Committee meeting jointly received a presentation from the Strategic Director (CF) on the Statement of Accounts 2019/20.
The Audit Committee and the Statement of Accounts Committee meeting jointly received a presentation from the Strategic Director (CF) on the Statement of Accounts (SoA) 2019/20.
The presentation from the Strategic Director (CF) included the following Information:
· as at 31 March 2020, the Council’s Revenue and Capital Reserves had totalled £59,298,063;
· since then, changes to the draft SoA related to invoices received in September 2020, updated accruals, and a loan error relating to Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), meant that the revised 31 March 2020 Revenue and Capital Reserves now totalled £60,859,000;
· the effect of Covid-19, including a Government Grant underspend of £45,000; Covid loss of income and additional costs overspend of £178,000; Covid Revenue Contribution to Capital Outlay resulting in an underspend of £1.22M; carry forwards of £794,000; and pilot gains from Non-Domestic Rates of £518,000;
· Capital receipts during the year had amounted to £14.79M;
· The total of 2019/20 unusable reserves was £514,287;
· A summary of the balance sheets revealed net assets of £573,581;
· Long term assets totalled £812,964; and
· Long term liabilities totalled £271,597.
The Strategic Director (CF) commented that key points arising from the ISA 260 report were that valuations were required and these would be reviewed for 2020/21; Pension entries required changes; and adjustments for the Hertfordshire LEP loan and some other working accruals. She added that adjustments had not been made regarding the valuation of Queensway LLP; that the asset valuations would be adjusted in 2020/21; and that the £153,000 Capital underspend was unadjusted as it was an extrapolation of £985.
In relation to work on the 2020/21 SoA, the Strategic Director (CF) reported that the Draft Accounts and Public Inspection Notice had been published on 26 October 2021. Audit planning had taken place in February 2022; Sample selection, fieldwork and conducting the audit would take place in March and April 2022; and it was estimated that the draft Audit report would be issued in May 2022.
The Strategic Director (CF) concluded by stating that proposals for an update of the 2021/22 Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting included a deferral of the implementation of IFRS 16 Leases, which was currently set to be implemented in the 2022/23 Code; and pausing the requirements for professional valuation of operational property, plant and equipment assets in 2021/22.
In response to Members’ questions, the Strategic Director (CF) advised:
· once the Covid-19 pandemic had started, measures were put in place to ensure the Council’s financial resilience when a revised Medium Term Financial Strategy was approved in June 2020. This included a significant Revenue Contribution to Capital Outlay;
· the asset valuation differences between the Council and Ernst & Young amounted to £2M out of a total of £780M; and
· it was confirmed that the external auditors’ sample testing of property, plant and equipment had identified 7 low value items (cumulative value £985) ... view the full decision text for item 3.
URGENT PART I BUSINESS
To consider any Part I business accepted by the Chair as urgent.
EXCLUSION OF PRESS AND PUBLIC
To consider the following motions –
1. That under Section 100A of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as described in Paragraphs 1 – 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Act as amended by Local Government (Access to Information) (Variation) Order 2006.
2. That Members consider the reasons for the following reports being in Part II and determine whether or not maintaining the exemption from disclosure of the information contained therein outweighs the public interest in disclosure.
URGENT PART II BUSINESS
To consider any Part II business accepted by the Chair as urgent.