To present a progress report on the un-audited 2015/16 Financial Statements to the Committee for review and consideration, prior to the 30 June deadline for the formal approval of the Accounts by the Section 151 Officer, before audit (report of the Executive Director Commercialisation (S151 Officer) enclosed)
Consideration was given to the report of the Executive Director Commercialisation (S151 Officer) which sought to present a progress report on the un-audited 2015/16 Financial Statements to the Committee for review and consideration, prior to the 30 June deadline for the formal approval of the Accounts by the Section 151 Officer, before audit.
The report presented the unaudited financial statements to enable comments and challenge, and to highlight any key areas. The financial statements production process was progressing and draft statements would be completed by the end of May 2016. Included within Appendix A were the un-audited versions of the 2015/16 main Statements (the Comprehensive Income and Expenditure Statement, the Movement in Reserves Statement, Cash Flow Statement and Balance Sheet as at 31 March 2016).
The accounts had been completed but were subject to checks to ensure that they fully complied with disclosure requirements which would continue up the 30 June statutory deadline, when the accounts would be signed off by the Section 151 Officer and then passed on for audit. Any significant changes identified between that time would be reported to committee in July 2016.
Appendix B, included within the report, highlighted the main changes from previous years in respect of the code of practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom.
Appendix C of the report highlighted the management reporting variances for Quarter 4 performance.
The Draft Annual Governance statement was attached within Appendix D for comment. The draft statement had been issued to the Executive Management Team for approval on 23 May 2016. The final document would be approved by 30 June 2016 in line with the un-audited accounts as both documents needed to be published on the website on 1 July 2016 for a minimum of 20 working days public consultation.
Members noted that a training session on the annual accounts and the difference to the management accounts would be given in a pre-meeting session before the July meeting.
The Committee considered the report and the following questions were asked:
· Were pension percentages going to be altered?
o It was unknown as to whether the pension percentages would be altered, however changes had been made to the national insurance contributions which had been taken account of in the budget.
· There had been an increase with the long term debtors, but in relation to what?
o The long term debtors primarily consisted car loans and some mortgages. The Council had also taken on some leases during the course of the year.
· What was the situation in relation to asbestos?
o The policy had been amended in order to look at a reduced bill for asbestos removal as time went on.
· What was the link between the long term assets and the income and expenditure account?
o A training session would be given in order to look at the way the long term assets and the income and expenditure account interrelate.
· What was meant in terms of ‘Place’?
o ‘Place’ was the directorate under which remit were areas such as Environmental Services, Housing and Planning. An explanation would be included in future reports to ensure it was clear to the public.
· What was the £25,000 for in relation to footway lighting?
o Maintenance and replacement lighting.
· What were the penalties in terms of housing benefit error rates if fraudulent claims were made?
o If prosecution was successful there would be no error. Any errors would be on the authority alone, which was an operational risk and not governance.
a) That the Un-audited 2015/16 main financial statements be noted;
b) That the full statements be noted as work in progress;
c) That the Section 151 Officer make the necessary amendments prior to the formal approval of the statements for audit and report any substantial changes to committee in July 2016;
d) That the Executive Management Team approve the Annual Governance Statement and make comments as necessary within the appropriate timeframe;
e) That training sessions be arranged to go through the management accounts, and to look at how the long term assets and the income and expenditure accounts interrelated; and
f) That future Committee reports contain an explanation for terms such as ‘Place’.
(Councillor T A Carter left the meeting at 8.16 pm and returned at 8.18 pm, following consideration of the above item.