Issue - meetings
Draft Statement of Accounts 2017/18
(a) That the draft Statement of Accounts 2017/18 (which includes the Annual Governance Statement approved by the Committee at its June 2018 meeting) be noted; and
(b) That Members note the ability to discuss any aspect of the Statement of Accounts with officers or the Wales Audit Office throughout July, August and September, prior to the final audited version being brought back to the Committee for recommendation to Council for final approval on 12 September 2018.
The Corporate Finance Manager presented the Draft Statement of Accounts 2017/18 (subject to audit) for information only at this stage. These comprised the Group accounts, including its wholly owned subsidiaries, and the Annual Governance Statement which had been considered at the previous meeting. The final audited accounts would be received on 12 September for approval and recommendation to County Council on the same day, ready for publication by 15 September which was in advance of the statutory deadline to prepare for earlier timescales from 2018/19.
The Corporate Finance Manager and Interim Finance Manager - Technical Accountancy gave a joint presentation covering the following:
· Purpose and Background of the Accounts
· Contents and Overview
· Responsibility for the Accounts
· Links to Budget Monitoring
· Headline Figures - Council Fund, Reserves at Year End, Capital and Housing Revenue Account (HRA)
· Financial Performance Indicators
· Changes to the Accounts for 2017/18
· Principal Statements
· Accounts Governance Group
· Progress in addressing prior year issues
· Timeline and Next Steps
· Impact of Earlier Deadlines on Materiality
During the presentation, officers gave a reminder that the Statement was a corporate document and that the Clwyd Pension Fund accounts were now considered under a separate agenda item following changes to the regulations. The earlier statutory publishing deadlines from 2018/19 would require a considered view on materiality and may require use of some estimated data whilst ensuring that readers were not misled. All Members were able to raise queries on the accounts with officers during the Summer prior to submission of the final audited version.
Sally Ellis asked about the implications of the increase in short-term debtors. The Interim Finance Manager explained that this was mainly due to financing for North East Wales (NEW) Homes and that no increase in impairment provision was required. The classification of NEW Homes as a short-term debtor would change as the company evolved. Information was also shared on the approach to managing impairment provision through the Revenue Budget Monitoring process.
On the accounting treatment for waste disposal sites, officers explained that provision had been made for complex work being undertaken at Standard and Brookhill landfill sites over a period of time. A level of contingent liability was retained to deal with any issues, including any arising from a wider programme of work to identify risks across all landfill sites. The Chief Executive spoke about the involvement of the Accounts Governance Group on the establishment of a robust programme to manage the risks and needs of redundant waste sites.
Matthew Edwards of Wales Audit Office gave assurance of regular discussions with relevant officers on progress with landfill sites. Such issues formed part of audit work on the accounts including the classification of sites and potential liabilities.
When asked by Sally Ellis about the main considerations of the Accounts Governance Group, the Chief Executive said that the Group had satisfied itself that issues identified in previous years had been resolved. The Interim Finance Manager spoke about the value of the Group in engaging with senior officers to identify potential ... view the full minutes text for item 15