DRAFT AUDIT COMMITTEE ASSURANCE STATEMENT

 

Meeting - Governance & Audit Committee – 28 June 2017

 

Report Author                         Tim Willis, Director of Corporate Resources

 

Portfolio Holder                       Portfolio Holder for Financial Services and Estates

 

Status                                      For Decision

 

Classification:                          Unrestricted

 

Key Decision                           No

 

Reasons for Key                     N/A                                                                                               

(if appropriate)

 

Previously Considered by       N/A

 

Ward:                                      Thanet wide

 

Executive Summary:

 

In accordance with auditing standards, the external auditor needs to establish an understanding of the management processes in place at the Council. The Committee is asked to endorse the contents of the draft responses to the auditors.

 

 

Recommendation(s):

 

That the committee notes and endorses the responses to the letter from the external auditor.

 

 

CORPORATE IMPLICATIONS

Financial and Value for Money

There are no direct financial implications arising from this report.

Legal

This is a statutory requirement.

Corporate

This is part of the external audit process.

Equalities Act 2010 & Public Sector Equality Duty

Members are reminded of the requirement, under the Public Sector Equality Duty (section 149 of the Equality Act 2010) to have due regard to the aims of the Duty at the time the decision is taken.  The aims of the Duty are: (i) eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act, (ii) advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it, and (iii) foster good relations  between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.

 

Protected characteristics: age, gender, disability, race, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, religion or belief and pregnancy & maternity.  Only aim (i) of the Duty applies to Marriage & civil partnership.

 

Please indicate which aim is relevant to the report.

Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act,

 

Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it

 

Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it.

 

 

The report has taken into account the public sector equality duty and there are no specific issues arising from this report.

 

 

CORPORATE PRIORITIES (tick those relevant)ü

 

 

CORPORATE VALUES (tick those relevant)ü

 

A clean and welcoming Environment 

 

 

Delivering value for money

ü

Promoting inward investment and job creation

 

 

Supporting the Workforce

 

Supporting neighbourhoods

 

 

Promoting open communications

 

 

 

1.0       Introduction and Background

 

1.1          To comply with international auditing standards our external auditor, Grant Thornton, need to establish an understanding of the management processes in place to detect fraud and to ensure compliance with law and regulation. The external auditor is also required to make enquiries of management as to their knowledge of any actual, suspected or alleged fraud.

 

1.2          The external auditor also needs to gain an understanding of how the Governance and Audit committee maintains an oversight of the above processes.

 

1.3          All the above is contained in the letter from the external auditor dated 5 June 2017 and attached as Annex 1.

 

1.4          The questions and draft response, which is required to come from the Chairman of the Committee is attached as Annex 2.

 

2.0       Options

 

2.1       The requirement to approve the Statement of Accounts is a statutory requirement and therefore no alternative action is recommended as the Committee needs to be assured that the information submitted to the external auditor is sufficiently robust for their purposes.

2.2       Failure to achieve an unqualified opinion represents a reputational risk to the Council.

 

 

Contact Officer:

Tim Willis - Director of Corporate Resources

Reporting to:

Madeline Homer – Chief Executive

 

Annex List

 

Annex 1

Letter from Grant Thornton

Annex 2

Draft Audit Committee Assurance Statement

 

Background Papers

 

Title

Details of where to access copy

N/A

 

 

Corporate Consultation

 

Finance

Ramesh Prashar – Head of Financial Services

Legal

Tim Howes – Director of Corporate Governance