To consider and authorise the signing of the Statement of Accounts 2020/21 and the Letter of Representation following the external audit and to note the Annual Governance Statement Action Plan (Appendices 2, 4 and 5 to follow).
Copies of Appendices 2, 4 and 5 to the report, which were marked “to follow” on the Agenda, had been circulated to Members on 22 September 2021 alongside an updated Appendix 1.
The Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) introduced the audited Statement of Accounts and Annual Governance Statement for 2020/21. The unaudited Statement of Accounts had been approved and published by the Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) on 21 June 2021 allowing the opportunity for the general public to raise objections, questions and comments and had been reported to the Committee on 29 July 2021. There was a statutory deadline of 30 September 2021 for publication of the 2020/21 Statement of Accounts or as soon as reasonably practicable after receipt of the Audit Opinion.
The Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) informed Members of a number of amendments which had been identified in the updated Appendix 1 which was circulated before the meeting and that the letter of representation had been adjusted. The report proposed that the Chairman be authorised to resign the statement of accounts and sign the letter of representation once the amendments had been made.
Following a question from Members regarding the lack of any scores of 4 being given in appendix 3, the Finance Lead Specialist (Section 151 Officer) informed Members that the report had been done on an exception basis, in reality only the scores of two and three were shown but when assessed, 77% of the lines had scored four. Members suggested that this be highlighted in a footer in the report.
RESOLVED – That
(1) the following be approved:-
(a) the Statement of Accounts for 2020/21; and
(b) the Letter of Representation;
(2) the Chairman be authorised to:-
(a) sign the letter of representation and the Statement of Accounts on behalf of the Committee; and
(b) re-sign the Statement of Accounts in the event of further amendments following the final audit findings report; and
(3) the following be noted:-
(a) the Annual Governance Statement Action Plan; and
(b) the External Audit Action Plan.