Issue - meetings

Statement of Accounts 2014/15

Meeting: 24/09/2015 - Flintshire County Council (Item 49)

49 Statement of Accounts 2014/15 pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Additional documents:


(a)       That Council is assured by the proposed establishment of an officer working group and the resolution of the Audit Committee to review the findings of that group;


(b)       That Council approves the Statement of Accounts 2014/15 (including the amendments and corrections circulated by the Section 151 Officer) and delegates authority to the Section 151 Officer (in consultation with the Chair of the Council) to make any minor changes to the statement prior to signature;


(c)        That Council approves the Letter of Representation – Flintshire County Council, and the Letter of Representation – Clwyd Pension Fund;


            (d)       That Council approves the Reserves and Balances Protocol; and


(e)       That Council approves the Annual Governance Statement included within the Statement of Accounts


The Chief Executive invited Councillor Newhouse, as Chair of Audit Committee, to introduce the Statement of Accounts.


                        Councillor Newhouse moved approval of the Statement of Accounts which was seconded by Councillor Attridge.  He explained that the Statement of Accounts had been reported to the Audit Committee that morning with the three recommendations in the Audit Committee report being supported by the Wales Audit Office (WAO).  Following consideration of the item, an additional two recommendations were approved by the Audit Committee, copies of which had been distributed prior to the meeting along with a revised set of recommendations for County Council.


                        The Corporate Finance Manager explained that an additional briefing note had been provided prior to the County Council meeting which had also been emailed to Members the previous day.  The briefing note included information on changes to the accounts since publication of the agenda and additional background information to any significant changes.  As the Corporate Finance Manager and Section 151 Officer it was his unqualified opinion that nothing had been omitted from the report.


                        Mr John Herniman of WAO acknowledged the complex work involved in the production of the accounts.  All of the issues that had been raised had been addressed however there were two minor areas outstanding and it was anticipated they would be resolved by 30 September 2015.  On that basis he would be able to offer an unqualified opinion by that date.


                        He commented on the bank reconciliation which had not been prepared correctly but added that this could be easily rectified.  Also, the Council had not complied with the Code in respect of a change in accounting policy on foundation schools as it had applied the change from 31 March 2014 rather than 1 April 2013.  This was not material to the accounts.


                        Some weaknesses had been identified in the strength of the Council’s internal controls relating to the processing of payroll but he was confident these too could be easily resolved.  Regular updates would be reported to the Audit Committee.


                        The Chief Executive explained that the same issues would not be faced the following year as they were due to transitional arrangements.  In addition, an officer working group would be established to look at the accounting processes as recommended to the Audit Committee.


                        Councillor Halford said he had voted against the Statement of Accounts at Audit Committee.  She did not agree with officers and expressed her disappointment that at the Audit Committee on 15 July 2015 when the draft Statement of Accounts was considered there was nobody present from the Wales Audit Office who was known to the Committee.  She commented on the absence of three Labour Members of the Committee at the meeting that morning, all of which had substitutes in their place.  She felt there were issues contained in the Statement of Accounts that had not been reconciled and said she wanted to ensure that the authority did not get into further financial difficulty. 


                        The Corporate Finance Manager said the final piece of  ...  view the full minutes text for item 49