To receive and note the KPMG 2017/18 Audit Opinion.
This document is to follow.
Joanne Lees and Philip Johnstone from KPMG, the Council’s external auditors, attended for this item.
The Chair introduced this item noting the 5-year delay in receiving the final report from the Council’s outgoing external auditors.
KPMG presented the final 2017/18 ISA 260 report which included the ISA 260 report, the auditor’s opinion on the Statement of Accounts and Value for Money, the financial statements for 2017/18, and a management representation letter. A draft ISA 260 report for 2017/18 had been presented to this Committee in February 2019. The final ISA 260 report concluded an adverse Value for Money (VFM) opinion which was set out in the Auditor’s 2022 Public Interest Report (PIR). The PIR had been presented to Council on 8 December 2022. The Committee noted that all of the follow up recommendations in Appendix 1 of the ISA report had been addressed.
Joanne Lees, for KPMG, explained that KPMG had completed the financial statements, issued an unqualified opinion on the financial statements, and provided commentary on each valuation risk. She restated KPMG’s adverse opinion in relation to the Value for Money (VFM) opinion. The report included significant risks, recommendations raised and followed up, audit differences and the issuance of a Public Interest Report (PIR) which would be discussed in the item below.
Philip Johnstone, for KPMG, confirmed that the Public Interest Report had been issued to the Council on 12 October 2022, but not published until 30 November 2022 due to the death of a councillor and a subsequent by-election. The pre-election period had ended on 30 November 2022 and the PIR had been published on that date.
The Independent Member noted the important control recommendations in the report and asked if these would be carried forward by the new auditors. The Chief Finance Officer reported that they had been addressed and would be kept under review.
The Committee resolved
1. to accept the ISA 260 report from KPMG and to accept the opinions on the Statement of Accounts and Value for Money, and
2. that the Chair of the Audit Committee and Chief Finance Officer would sign the accounts and the letter of representation.
Councillors Bateson and Nichols voted against the resolution.