The Local Audit & Accountability Act 2014 and the Accounts & Audit Regulations 2015 set out the responsibilities of all local councils in respect of their accounting and auditing procedures.
Each year, the Council’s financial accounts and statements must be examined by an independent internal auditor appointed by the Council. For the year 2018/19 this is Mark Mulberry and Co.
The Council is also required to complete an Annual Governance & Accountability Return (AGAR) which includes the findings of the Internal Auditor, together with Governance Statements and Financial Statements. The AGAR is then submitted to the independent external auditor appointed by the Audit Commission for examination.
A summary of this year’s audit process is detailed below, together with copies of the relevant documents.
Year Ending 31st March 2019
The Council’s Financial Statements and Annual Governance & Accountability Return (AGAR) submission for the year-ending 31st March 2019 had been checked by Mark Mulberry and Co and subsequently approved by the Full Council at its meeting held on Thursday 20th June 2019.
The completed AGAR, together with the relevant supporting documentation, was then submitted to the external auditor, PKF Littlejohn LLP who were required to complete their review by 30th September 2019.
Following the submission, a Notice of Public Rights and Publication of the Unaudited Annual Governance & Accountability Return was then published along sections 1 and 2 of the AGAR – Annual Governance Statement 2018/19 (Section 1) and Accounting Statements 2018/19 (Section 2) with the Summary of Your Rights stating that any person interested has a right to inspect and make copies of the accounting records for the 2018-19 Financial Year. This ran for a period of six weeks commencing on 24th June 2019. Any person who wished to review the documentation was advised to contact the Finance Manager to make an appointment.
PKF Littlejohn completed their audit of the AGAR for 2018/19 on the 9th September 2019 and have issued an unqualified opinion where there are no ‘except for’ matters and consider the AGAR to be in accordance with the specified requirements.
A Notice of Conclusion of Audit detailing the rights of inspection in line with the statutory requirements was published on 11th September 2019 (could be no later than 30 September) along with the certified AGAR Sections 1, 2 & 3.
As stated in the notice, copies of the certified AGAR are available to purchase by any person on payment of fifty pence. Copies of the 2018/19 AGAR will remain available for public access for a period of not less that 5 years from date of publication stated above.
Previous returns can be found here:
*The name changed from the Annual Return to the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) in 2017.
Anyone wanting further information should contact Lucy Clark, Finance Manager, on 01323 872978 or firstname.lastname@example.org