(Link to Council Priorities: All)
The Committee received and considered Grant Thornton’s Audit Plan in respect of the Audit of the 2018/19 Statement of Accounts.
Ms. S. Ironmonger, Engagement Lead, Grant Thornton, provided a brief overview of the Audit Plan for 2018/19 and highlighted to the Committee the significant risks that would be considered as part of the Audit together with the details in respect of materiality. With regard to Value for Money arrangements, Ms. Ironmonger advised that two significant risks had been identified, namely financial sustainability in the medium term; and establishing a wholly owned subsidiary company. In this regard, additional value for money assessments would be undertaken for these two areas.
During consideration of the Audit Plan and in respect of the reference to the overspend of £400,000 against the budget, the Claygate Parish Councillor Co-Opted Member queried what impact planning applications had had on the overspend. The Strategic Director and Deputy Chief Executive commented that unfortunately there had been a reduction in planning income against the budget. However, since the beginning of 2019, a number of large planning applications had been received which would help reduce the overspend.
With regard to the management over-ride of controls, one of the Independent Members sought clarification regarding the effectiveness of management controls over journals and what processes were used in this regard. The Strategic Director and Deputy Chief Executive reported that the Council had a very small Accounts Payable Team and confirmed that compensating controls were in place.
A discussion also took place regarding the Local Government Pension Fund and it was noted that a valuation would be undertaken of the Fund by Surrey County Council the following year. The Strategic Director and Deputy Chief Executive reported that, based on the Council’s planned contributions to the Fund over the next 25 years, the fund would be fully funded. However, this was hugely dependent on the changes to Assets and Liabilities over that period.