1. The Annual Audit Letter is required under the Code of Audit Practice for Local Authorities. It sets out the matters of significance arising from the annual audit of the Council’s accounts. A full copy has been placed in the Members’ Room, and Members are invited to read it in full as it contains much more background, detail and reasoning than can be included in this summary report. The District Auditor was, for the first time, under a duty to report to “those charged with governance”. There were no issues to report to Members under the relevant Statement of Auditing Standard.
2. The Executive adopted the accounts for 2002/03 at its meeting on 21st July 2003. The target date for adoption of accounts will be incrementally moved forward in future years, with a target of 30th June as from 2005/06.
3. The District Auditor’s work covers the following:
· Performance management
· Financial aspects of corporate governance
Summary findings and comments
4. The District Auditor’s key messages are shown at Annexe 1. He has concluded that Waverley has:
· made progress in reviewing corporate aims and objectives, needing now to bring things together in an overall corporate plan
· demonstrated a firm commitment to making the new constitution work through regular review
· has a healthy overall financial position that requires continued prudent management by Members to ensure balances remain adequate
· produced accounts that need no qualification
· services inspected by the Audit Commission’s Inspectorate have promising prospects for improvement
· satisfactory arrangements to prevent and detect fraud and corruption, though awareness of anti-fraud and corruption needs to be promoted and supported by training.
5. The District Auditor has issued an Annual Audit Letter that acknowledges the efforts being made to improve by Waverley. The unqualified opinion on the Council’s accounts is reassuring, and the Council’s systems of internal control and measures to prevent fraud and corruption play an important part in achieving this endorsement of the accounts. Efforts need to be maintained to ensure an unqualified opinion in future years.
It is recommended that the report be received and noted.
Background Papers (DoF)
There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.
Name: Mr M Hill Telephone: 01483 523240