Contact: Joss Butler Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND SUBSTITUTIONS
There were none.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
All Members present are required to declare, at this point in the meeting or as soon as possible thereafter
(i) Any disclosable pecuniary interests and / or
(ii) Other interests arising under the Code of Conduct in respect of any item(s) of business being considered at this meeting
· Members are reminded that they must not participate in any item where they have a disclosable pecuniary interest
· As well as an interest of the Member, this includes any interest, of which the Member is aware, that relates to the Member’s spouse or civil partner (or any person with whom the Member is living as a spouse or civil partner)
There were none.
QUESTIONS AND PETITIONS
To receive any questions or petitions.
1. The deadline for Member’s questions is 12.00pm four working days before the meeting (30 October 2020).
2. The deadline for public questions is seven days before the meeting 29 October 2020).
3. The deadline for petitions was 14 days before the meeting, and no petitions have been received.
There were none.
To inform the Committee of the result of the external audit of the council’s 2019/20 Statement of Accounts, to receive the external auditor’s final Audit Findings Report and to approve the council’s letter of representation from the Executive Director of Resources.
Appendices to follow:
A Statement of Accounts
B Audit Findings report
C Letter of Representation
Anna D'Alessandro, Director - Corporate Finance
Ciaran McLaughlin, Grant Thornton
Key points raised during the discussion:
1. The representative from Grant Thornton introduced the item and provided Members with a brief summary. Members noted the following:
· Grant Thornton were substantially complete however there were a small number of administrative tasks to complete. Once the tasks were completed the accounts would be ready to be signed.
· An issue with the HSBC bank regarding missing information was in the process of being resolved.
· In regards to the pension fund, one error was found during testing however it would likely not lead to a material impact on the evaluation of the fund.
· The Audit Findings Report was almost final. Disclosers had been included on the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to property, land and buildings, private equity and infrastructure assets.
· Work on land and buildings was complete and, other than de-recognition of the gasifier the Eco Park, there were no major changes as a result of the Audit report.
· The IT audit team identified sufficient deficiencies in the controls operating over the ledger and so the audit process had been amended to address the deficiencies.
· In regards to the minimum revenue provision outlined on page 204, Grant Thornton confirmed that they were satisfied it was not unlawful.
· Page 218 – 219 covered ethics and independence and Grant Thornton confirmed that they were independent from the council.
2. Members stated that they felt Grant Thornton had completed a thorough job.
3. The Committee agreed that they were happy for the Chairman to sign the council’s accounts. It was noted that the Chairman would be able to provide an electronic signature.
4. Members noted that the letter of representation included specific representations around the Eco Park, private equity and priority evaluations.
5. Members noted that the community fund grant, Your Fund Surrey, was £100 million over the next five years and not £50 million.
6. The Director - Corporate Finance stated that they were disappointed with the time it had taken for Grant Thornton to complete the work and noted that it was not a reflection on the work of the Finance service. The Director - Corporate Finance thanked the Finance team for their hard work.
7. Finance and Grant Thornton agreed to hold a wash-up meeting to review the work undertaken and how it should be carried out next year.
Actions/ further information to be provided:
1. Approved the 2019/20 Statement of Accounts, as attached in Annex A of the report, for publication on the council’s website and in a limited number of hard copies;
2. Considered amendments since the 1 October Audit and Governance Committee meeting to the contents of the 2019/20 Audit Findings Report in Annex B;
3. Approved the Executive Director of Resources’ letter of representation;
DATE OF NEXT MEETING
The next meeting of Audit & Governance Committee will be on 26 November 2020.
The date of the meeting was noted at 26 November 2020.