Issue - meetings

Certification of Grants and Returns 2019/20

Meeting: 02/06/2021 - Governance and Audit Committee (Item 6)

6 Certification of Grants and Returns 2019/20 pdf icon PDF 85 KB

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That the content of the Grant Claim Certification report for 2019/20 and the Internal Audit Review of Grants 2019/20 be noted.


The Corporate Finance Manager introduced the Audit Wales annual report on grant claim certification for the year ending 31 March 2020.  There was a significant reduction in the number of claims certified this year due to changes in external audit priorities set by Welsh Government (WG).


Of the overall grants total of £106.6m, the net adjustment to claims was a relatively small increase in the amount receivable to the Council of £133.  The findings and recommendations from the report were being progressed through a series of actions contained in the agreed management action plan.  Given the reduced number of grant claims, Internal Audit colleagues had been asked to review a sample of the remaining grants; those findings helped to provide additional assurance on controls, and compliance with terms and conditions.


Mike Whiteley of Audit Wales summarised the main findings and confirmed that audit work had not been impacted by two of the claims submitted after the deadline due to the emergency situation.  He advised that the overall fee for the certification work was lower than anticipated and that there had been positive engagement with Council officers throughout the process.  On the requirement by WG to establish the accuracy of landlord certification for Empty Property Relief (recommendation 5), discussions had taken place with officers on the approach taken by the Council which was considered reasonable and had not warranted any follow-up action.


In response to questions from Allan Rainford, Mike Whiteley summarised the sample testing method used for housing subsidy claims on which the issues were currently being resolved.  Some errors on Housing Revenue Account (HRA) rent rebates were inevitable due to the number of claims and changes throughout the year.  However it was important to note there was clear evidence of ongoing training within teams to deal with those issues.  In response to a query on recommendation 5 on non-domestic rates, it was reported that around 1,000 empty properties were included in the relevant section of the claim form.


On the Internal Audit review, the Corporate Finance Manager provided clarification on an issue relating to the Concessionary Travel Grant and confirmed that workforce training was in place and procedures reviewed to ensure that claims were certified at the required level.


The recommendation was moved by Councillor Martin White and seconded by Sally Ellis.




That the content of the Grant Claim Certification report for 2019/20 and the Internal Audit Review of Grants 2019/20 be noted.