Agenda and draft minutes

Extraordinary, Audit Committee
Tuesday, 31st July, 2018 4.00 pm

Contact: Ian Hird  0117 92 22384

Items
No. Item

1.

Welcome, apologies and safety information

SAFETY INFORMATION – PLEASE NOTE:

1. There are no planned fire alarm tests or drills. If the alarm sounds, please exit

the room via the main entrance lobby at the front of the building.

2. Please then exit the building via the front ramp and assemble at the fire

assembly point, which is on the paved area between the side entrance of the

cathedral and the roundabout at the Deanery Road end of the building.

3. Please follow the instructions of the fire wardens and security staff on hand.

Please do not return to the building until instructed to do so by fire wardens.

Minutes:

The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting and attendees introduced themselves.

The Chair drew attention to the safety information as detailed on the agenda.

 

2.

Declarations of interest

To note any declarations of interest from councillors. They are asked to indicate

the relevant agenda item, the nature of the interest and in particular whether it

is a disclosable pecuniary interest.

 

Any declaration of interest made at the meeting which is not on the register of

interests should be notified to the Monitoring Officer for inclusion.

Minutes:

None.

 

3.

Public forum

As this is an extraordinary meeting of the committee, public forum business must relate specifically to the business for which this extraordinary meeting has been arranged. Any member of the public or councillor may participate in public forum. Public forum items should be emailed to democratic.services@bristol.gov.uk

 

Please note that the following deadlines will apply in relation to this meeting:

For written questions - 5.00 pm on Wednesday 25 July 2018.

For written statements - 12.00 noon on Monday 30 July 2018.

Minutes:

It was noted that a public forum statement from Cllr Hopkins had been received, circulated and noted.  It was noted that this statement was likely to be re-submitted to the future meeting at which the committee would consider the finalised Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2018.

 

4.

Statement of Accounts - year ended 31 March 2018 & BDO (external auditor) ISA 260 report pdf icon PDF 211 KB

To receive a written update from BDO (external auditor).

Minutes:

The Chair reminded members that at the meeting of the committee held on 26 July 2018, the External Auditor had given a verbal update on the progress of their audit of the Council’s 2017-18 accounts and related matters.  It had been noted at that meeting that it was not going to be possible for the committee to receive the Final Statement of Accounts for approval at this meeting and that therefore the Council would not be meeting the 31 July deadline for approving the accounts.

 

The committee then considered the audit progress report submitted for discussion at this meeting by BDO, the External Auditor.   The report set out details of the outstanding queries and issues (identified from the audit process) to be resolved, together with details of the work currently taking place to seek to resolve these issues.

 

Main points raised/clarified/noted:

1.      The External Auditor confirmed that the progress report set out the latest position in relation to all matters that were still currently outstanding.

 

2.      In relation to the identified pension liability issue, the External Auditor advised that 3 of the 4 mortality assumptions used were outside of the range of values submitted by the actuary to PWC.  The Council had been asked to contact the actuary to obtain an explanation for this deviation.  In discussion, Cllr Pearce (BCC’s appointed representative on the Avon Pension Fund Committee) expressed particular concern around the timing of the identification of this issue, especially in light of the fact that the pension fund committee had signed off these assumptions.  In discussion, the External Auditor confirmed that from their perspective, a satisfactory explanation was awaited from the actuary on the query raised.

 

3.      Queries were raised by members as to whether the External Auditor had allocated sufficient resources to this audit and whether it was the case that an under-resourcing of the audit was a contributory factor to the failure to meet the deadline for the finalisation of the accounts.  In response, the External Auditor gave a categorical assurance that the audit had been appropriately resourced from the outset.  Additional resource had also been allocated as issues for further investigation had been identified as the audit had progressed.  The reality was that a number of unforeseen additional issues had been identified that had not been anticipated at the audit planning stage; BCC officers had been helpful in responding to the issues raised as the audit had progressed.  The committee had noted at the 26 July meeting that BDO personnel had been changed during the year.  When questioned, BDO had denied that this had impacted on their ability to meet the deadline for signing off the accounts.

 

4.      Members expressed deep concern that the Council would not be in a position to be able to approve the finalised accounts by the 31 July deadline.  In response to a question, the External Auditor confirmed that a number of other local authorities were also faced by this situation.   It was also important to note the context that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.