The Senior Manager – Finance presented the Authority’s 2021-22 audited statement of accounts. The Committee was reminded that the Accounts and Audit (England) Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/234) (the Accounts and Audit Regulations), as amended, required the Authority to prepare a statement of accounts for each financial year in accordance with proper practices in relation to accounts, and the responsible financial officer (the s151 Officer) to certify that the accounts presented a true and fair view of the financial position of the Authority at the end of the year to which it related and of its income and expenditure for that year.
Prior to approval of the audited statement of accounts by members, the Accounts and Audit Regulations required the responsible financial officer to re-certify that the statement of accounts presented a true and fair view of the Authority’s financial position and financial performance.
In response to the recommendations of the independent Redmond Review into the Oversight of Local Audit and Transparency of Local Authority Financial Reporting, The Accounts and Audit (amendment) Regulations 2021 (SI no 2021/263) had made a number of amendments to the Accounts and Audit Regulations. These changes, which applied to the statement of accounts for financial years 2020-21 and 2021-22, included:
· extending the deadline for principal local authorities to publish their audited statement of accounts and supporting documents, from 31 July to 30 September following the end of financial year to which the accounts relate, and
· by amending the requirements relating to the period for the exercise of public rights, extending the deadline for principal local authorities to publish their unaudited statement of accounts and supporting documents from 31 May to 31 July.
The Authority’s statement of accounts for 2021-22, prepared in accordance with proper practices in relation to accounts, are included in Appendix 1 to this report. Proper practices are defined in the Local Authorities (Capital Finance and Accounting) (England) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/3146) (as amended) and primarily comprise of the Code of Practice on Local Authority Accounting in the United Kingdom 2021-22, supported by International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).
In accordance with the timetable set out in the Regulations, the Authority’s unaudited statement of accounts for 2021-22 were certified by the s151 Officer (Chief Officer - Assets) and authorised for issue on 29 July 2022 and were then subject to external audit by Grant Thornton LLP. Following completion of the audit, the audited statements were re-certified by the s151 officer on 28 November 2022.
The Chief Officer - Assets and senior finance staff had worked with Grant Thornton to address matters raised during the audit process and, where necessary, had made amendments to the Authority’s statement of accounts in advance of their publication.
The audited statement of accounts presented to the Committee incorporated all agreed amendments to the unaudited statement of accounts authorised for issue and submitted for audit on 29 July 2022.