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Venue: Virtual Meeting
Contact: Ann Holmes 01248 752518
Declaration of Interest
To receive any declaration of interest by any Member or Officer in respect of any item of business.
· To present the Statement of the Accounts for 2020/21.
· To present the Annual Governance Statement for 2020/21.
· To present External Audit’s report on the financial statements 2020/21 (ISA 260 Report).
(The Statement of the accounts and the ISA 260 report are to follow)
The Chair welcomed all those present to the meeting and he invited the Director of Function (Resources) and Section 151 Officer to make a statement regarding the business that was to have been conducted at this meeting.
The Director of Function (Resources) and Section 151 Officer stated that this meeting had been convened to consider the final Statement of the Accounts for 2020/21 together with External Audit’s report and opinion on the financial statements, known as the ISA 260 report. Although it was known that the preparation and finalisation of the accounts would be challenging within the intended timescale given the ongoing impact of the pandemic, the change of external auditor for the 2020/21 financial year and the different expectations which the new auditors brought to the process in terms of the information they required to conduct the audit and for their assurance needs meant that the Finance Service had to make some changes to its working arrangements and practice which have in turn led to more work than anticipated. Notwithstanding, efforts were still being made even at the beginning of the week to try to ensure the final accounts were presented to this meeting but regrettably, those efforts were further frustrated by the absence of a key member of staff . Regardless, thanks have to be paid to Bethan Owen, Accountancy Service Manager and Jemma Robinson, Senior Accountant as well as Yvonne Thomas and Gareth Evans from Audit Wales for all their endeavours over the past weeks and especially over the last few days to bring the work together and to try to get the final accounts to committee as planned. Whilst the changes to the draft accounts presented to this committee in July, 2021 are not significant, some do entail making adjustments to the income and expenditure account and consequently to the balance sheet which in turn mean that corresponding changes then have to be made to the notes to the financial statements and the accompanying narrative report; these are then checked and reconciled in the English and Welsh versions meaning that there is some considerable work involved in the presentation of the document for publication.
It is the intention that the Governance and Audit Committee be reconvened to consider the finalised Statement of the Accounts for 2020/21 and ISA 260 report on Monday, 15 November with Full Council thereafter meeting on 22 November to approve the final accounts meaning that the 30 November, 2021 statutory deadline for signing off the final accounts will still be met.
The Committee and the Portfolio Member for Finance, in recognising the challenges faced in getting the final Statement of the Accounts document ready for this meeting and accepting the Section 151 Officer’s explanation for why ultimately, this had not been possible, acknowledged the very hard work that had been involved in the attempt and thanked the Finance Service’s staff for their efforts particularly over the past week.
The Vice-Chair in querying whether there had been any specific elements in the accounts ... view the full minutes text for item 2.