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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 03/02/2004
APPENDIX S - ANNUAL AUDIT LETTER 2002/2003



Summary & Purpose
The Audit Commission has completed its audit of the Council’s accounts for 2002/03 and the accounts are now available to all Council members and for public inspection by local electors. This report summarises the District Auditor’s comments as contained in the Annual Audit Letter.

Quality of Life Implications
Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe Communities
Local Economy
Natural
Resource Use
Pollution
Prevention and Control
Biodiversity
and Nature
Local
Environment
Social
Inclusion
Safe, Healthy
and Active
Communities
Local
Economy
Positive
N/A
N/A
N/A
Positive
Positive
Positive


APPENDIX S
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE – 3RD FEBRUARY 2004
_________________________________________________________________________
Title:
Annual Audit Letter 2002/03
[Wards Affected: N/A]
_________________________________________________________________________
Summary and purpose:

The Audit Commission has completed its audit of the Council’s accounts for 2002/03 and the accounts are now available to all Council members and for public inspection by local electors. This report summarises the District Auditor’s comments as contained in the Annual Audit Letter.
_________________________________________________________________________
Quality of life implications – social, environmental & economic (sustainable development):

Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe, Healthy and Active Communities
Local Economy
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Positive
Positive
Positive

The annual Audit of Accounts is central to the Council’s accountability to the local electors, local residents and local businesses, all of whom pay in some way towards the provision of the Council’s services.

E-Government implications:

Financial transactions that form part of the Council’s accounts are increasingly capable of being transacted electronically, and the annual accounts are published on the Council’s website.

Resource and legal implications:

The Council’s accounts are prepared in accordance with statutory requirements and accounting conventions. An unqualified opinion has once again been received from the District Auditor reflecting the accuracy and integrity of the accounts.
_________________________________________________________________________

Introduction

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
Accounts.

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.

Conclusion

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.

Recommendation

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.
________________________________________________________________________

CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Mr M Hill Telephone: 01483 523240

E-mail: mhill@waverley.gov.uk

COMMS/EXECUTIVE/2003-04/445 35174