To receive the report of the Acting Executive Director Resources presenting the Draft Annual Statement of Accounts 2018/19 and the Draft Annual Governance Statement 2018/19.
RECEIVED the report of the Acting Executive Director of Resources (No.34) presenting the unaudited Annual Statement of Accounts for the 2018/19 financial year and the draft Annual Governance Statement 2018/19.
1. The report was presented by Tim Harlock (Interim Chief Accountant) and Paul Reddaway (Head of Finance Pensions Investments).
2. Officers were presenting the draft Statement of Accounts at this meeting and were not expecting detailed questions on the content of the draft statements. Officers’ would go through the process so Members would understand and would be able to examine and scrutinise the document.
3. The single entity accounts were completed by 31 May 2019 and the group accounts on 10 June 2019.
4. Questions from Members would be answered at the 4 July 2019 discussion meeting of the 2018/19 draft Statement of Accounts. Officers asked if questions from members could be sent in writing by the 28 June 2019 to them.
5. Since the production of the statement of accounts, Finance have had BDO (external auditors) on site since the 3 June 2019 and have met, on a daily basis with officers. This is to ensure that BDO are receiving the appropriate information they need and that documents are getting through to the external auditors. Officers had identified several errors in the accounts and have informed BDO about these for transparency.
6. At this stage the documents are draft accounts and will go through the process of audit. Once BDO have finished with them, that is when they become final accounts and get presented back to the Committee on the 25 July 2019 and ask Members to conclude and sign them off.
7. Paul Reddaway clarified the draft Pension fund accounts. Officers had kept to the same timetable and had submitted the draft Pension Fund accounts on the 31 May 2019. They had already been presented to the Pension Committee a week ago for consideration. The draft Pension Fund accounts would also be heard at the Pension Board for their consideration. They will then be presented back to the Audit & Risk Management Committee on the 25 July 2019 for the committees’ opinion. Paul Reddaway expects to complete the draft Pension Fund Accounts 2018/19 by 16 July 2019.
8. The Chair mentioned that ahead of last year’s corresponding meeting on the 5 July 2018, a training session, for members, on the draft statement of accounts was held. If members found that helpful, Finance could arrange a similar session ahead of the 4 July 2019 meeting as additional support. Fay Hammond (Acting Executive Director Resources) requested that any questions Members may have, should be sent in writing to Finance Officers by Friday 28 June 2019, as officers would then be better equipped to answer those. Questions could also be answered at the 4 July 2019 meeting aswell, including up until the Statement of Accounts are signed off by the 20 July 2019.
Members agreed that a training session would be useful but requested that the training session be held before the 4 July 2019 meeting.
ACTION: Metin Halil (Committee Administrator)
(Post meeting note: The training session has been arranged for Monday 1 July 2019 in Room 6 at 5:30pm, Members have been invited).
9. The following questions and queries raised in response to the report:
a. Members enquired if the External Auditors Management Letter would be available to the Committee before the 4 July 2019 meeting. As sometimes that raises issues that Members should be aware of and often prompts a policy issue on reserves that may prompt deeper scrutiny. Lucy Trevett (BDO) clarified that they were planning to present the Audit Management Letter at the 25 July 2019 committee meeting and not the 4 July 2019 committee meeting, as her team were only doing this work presently. BDO would provide a verbal update on the key issues at the 4 July 2019 committee meeting. It may be possible for members to submit to BDO questions, in writing before the 4 July 2019. There would also be an opportunity for members to ask questions when the final accounts are bought to the 25 July 2019 committee meeting.
AGREED to note:
(1) the draft unaudited annual Statement of Accounts for 2018/19, which were completed and published on the website by the new statutory deadline of 31 May 2019.
(2) That BDO’s report and Audit Opinion on the final audited statement of accounts will be presented to the Committee for approval on 25 July 2019.
(3) the additional meeting to be held on the 4 July 2019, to discuss the Statement of Accounts in further detail.
(4) the Pension Fund Accounts which are subject to approval by the Pension Fund Board.