Agenda item

Certification of grants and returns 2014/15

Annual Report (report of KPMG enclosed)

Minutes:

Consideration was given to KPMG’s Certification of grants and returns 2014/15.  The report summarised the results of work they had carried out on the return.  This included the work they had completed under the Public Sector Audit Appointment certification arrangements, as well as the work completed on other grants/returns under separate engagement terms.  The work completed in 2014/15 was:

 

·         Under the Public Sector Audit Appointment arrangements, KPMG certified one claim – the Council’s 2014/15 Housing Benefit Subsidy claim.  This had a value of £19.6 million.

·         Under separate assurance engagements, KPMG also certified the Housing Pooling return.

 

Certification results

 

KPMG’s work on the Authority’s Housing Benefit Subsidy claim was subject to a qualification letter.  As a result of issues identified in the previous year, and as a result of their initial work, it was necessary to perform:

 

·         100% testing in relation to six specific issues where KPMG were able to effect claim adjustments; and

·         40+ testing in relation to six further issues from which KPMG could not reach a conclusion as to whether the claim was fairly stated.

 

This was an increase in the amount of work from the previous year.

 

KPMG’s work on the Authority’s Housing Pooling Return resulted in the following reports:

 

·         An unqualified assurance report was issued in respect of this return, although issues were noted in respect of:

 

o   Previously reportable capital allowances being incorrectly recorded as relating to expenditure incurred in buying a relevant interest in a dwelling; and

o   Capital receipts in respect of mortgage repayments had not been recorded in the appropriate quarter to which they related.

 

Cell amendments were agreed with the Council for these errors with neither having an effect on the amount of poolable receipts by the Authority.

 

Audit adjustments

 

Adjustments were necessary to both of the Authority’s grants and returns as a result of KPMGs certification work for the year.

 

·         Their work on the Housing Benefit Subsidy claim resulted in a reduction of subsidy claimed of £2,192; and

·         Whilst their work on the Housing Pooling return did not affect the amount of poolable receipts, amendments of £5,771,998 and £440 to differing cells were required.

 

The findings in respect of the Housing Benefit Subsidy claim were similar to those of the previous year whilst those in respect of the Housing Pooling return were new.

 

Fees

 

The indicative fee for KPMG’s work on the Authority’s 2014/15 Housing Benefit Subsidy was set by Public Sector Audit Appointments at £8,120.  The actual fee for this work was £9,390 which was still subject to determination by PSAA.  KPMGs fees for the other ‘assurance’ engagements were subject to agreement directly with the Council and were £3,000.  

 

The Committee considered the report and the following questions were asked:

 

·         With regard to fees, did a portion fall to the Housing Revenue Account?

o   The pooling return did however, Housing Benefit fell to the General Fund.

 

·         Were the errors that were identified a result of mistakes or non-compliance?

o   They were mistakes, due to the complexity of the issues and some cases.

 

AGREED:

 

That the Certification of grants and returns 2014/15 be noted.

Supporting documents: