Agenda item


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The Financial Services Manager explained that a training session had been held the previous week which had looked at the Statement of Accounts in detail.


The Committee was advised that Ernst Young had provided an assurance on content and the supplementary Statement of Accounts.


The Committee’s attention was drawn to the Core Financial Statement as set out below:


          P115: Income and Expenditure Account – deficit of £5.7m after pension payment and Internal Drainage Board levies.

           Movement – usable and unusable reserves.

           Council’s net worth.

           Administrative process to sign off the 2019/202 Statement of Accounts.

           Auditor’s final validation process – it was anticipated that no further significant changes would be required.


The Chair thanked the Financial Services Manager for the report and invited questions and comments from the Committee, a summary of which are set out below.


The Assistant Director, Resources explained that the ISA 260 set out the process required to sign off the 2019/2020 accounts and added that there were minor amendments required such as typographical errors, etc.  It was anticipated that the 2019/2020 Statement of Accounts would be signed off on 22 January 2024.


The Assistant Director, Resources responded to questions from the Chair on the financial performance – capital and how the Council performed on the capital programme compared to the budget.


The Financial Services Manager responded to questions from the Chair in relation to the pension fund entry on the Balance Sheet.


At the invitation of the Chair, the Portfolio Holder for Finance addressed the Committee and comment on the lessons learnt from the King’s Lynn Innovation Centre (KLIC) and added that since that time the Council had improved its governance arrangements.


Councillor Dark provided background information on the KLIC entry in the 2019/2020 accounts and explained that Councillors needed to be mindful that during that time there was the Pandemic and the report showed testament to how officers and Councillors had dealt with the finance.  Councillor Dark added that KLIC had raised concerns in the past and explained that there was now a legal in-house team and a Member Major Projects Board which monitored major projects.  The KLIC building was now owned by the Council at a value of £2.36m and was fully occupied by tenants which was a good end result.


Under Standing Order 34, Councillor Coates commented that he was pleased to learn that the old accounts would shortly be signed off and highlighted that the Committee needed to deal with more current issues and that there was a requirement to get up to date as soon as possible. 


In response to comments made regarding KLIC, the Chair referred to the comments made by Councillor Dark in that the Council now had its own in-house legal team and would continue to learn and hoped that the work required for the 2024/2025 statements of accounts would reduce.


The Assistant Director, Resources responded to questions from Councillor Dark on the undervalue of assets and how the Finance Team would build this into the calculations going forward.


RESOLVED:  That Members of the Audit Committee:


1)            Approved the attached 2019/2020 Statement of Accounts.


2)            Delegate authority to the Council’s Section 151 officer and the Council’s Chair of Audit Committee to sign-off the final and complete Statement of Accounts.


3)            Noted the “Letter of Representation.”


Supporting documents: