Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: No
The Committee considered a report by Grant Thornton regarding the External Audit Annual Audit report (circulated previously).
The External Auditor (DP) confirmed:
· The Audit Report covered three areas within the new code of practice under which the Auditors were required to assess arrangements: Financial Sustainability, Governance and Improving economy, efficiency and effectiveness.
· This was a positive report with no significant weaknesses identified, therefore there were no key or statutory recommendations. The report contained only improvement recommendations.
· The overall findings for Financial Sustainability were of four recommendations which included the separate monitoring of the authority’s savings on a tracker, and the continual review of the level of reserves held. The Authority held a General Fund reserve level of 9.1% of the net revenue budget. The CIPFA recommended level was between 5-10%. The levels held had been viewed as prudent but would be kept under review.
· In terms of Governance there was a recommendation to review the Corporate Risk Register (CRR) every three months, with monitoring to take place quarterly. It was suggested that the focus would be any ‘red’ risks.
· Improving economy, efficiency and effectiveness: a rating of the performance indicators was discussed, to enable trends to be easily identified.
In response to questions from the Committee, the Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive confirmed that:
· Following the restructure of the Senior Management Team it was decided that the Monitoring Officer would not be required to sit on the SMT as the new Head of Governance would be in attendance.
· The CRR could be presented to the Committee on a quarterly basis.
· SMT review the CRR and any issues would be escalated to them.
· All of the recommendations submitted by the auditors had been accepted.
RESOLVED that the External Audit Annual Audit report be noted.
Publication date: 03/05/2022
Date of decision: 08/03/2022
Decided at meeting: 08/03/2022 - Governance Committee