Greenwich Council

Agenda item.

Statement of Accounts 2015/16

Decision:

Noted the Audit Findings Report (AFR) at

·         Appendix 1b - Royal Borough of Greenwich

·         Appendix 2b – Pension Fund.

 

Noted that the Audit and Risk Management Panel and Pension Fund Investment and Administration had considered the Audit Findings report and had no comments for consideration by Council.

 

Approved the Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2016, at Appendix 1d, incorporating agreed amendments.

 

Agreed that the Mayor signed and dated the revised Statement of Accounts.

Minutes:

The Mayor advised that the Royal Borough’s accounts, the Pension Fund accounts and the Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2016 had been circulated on a Supplementary Agenda.  Further that the accounts and the Auditor’s Findings Report were considered by the Audit and Risk Management Panel and the Pensions Fund Investment and Administration Panel.  Neither Panel had any further comments for the Council’s consideration. 

 

The Mayor invited Mr Dosset, Grant Thornton’s Engagement Lead and external auditor, to introduce the Report

 

Mr Dosset was pleased to note that the Royal Borough of Greenwich had produced its financial statements at the end of May, demonstrating that the Authority had been well prepared for the impending changes including the requirement of financial statements to be submitted by July.  Mr Dosset advised that the Council had produced a high quality statement of accounts and that no adjustments were required.  He continued that as the Auditor, he proposed to give an Unqualified Opinion on the financial statements and an Unqualified Value for Money Conclusion on the Council’s arrangements.  It was stated that the opinion reflected how the Council was facing and managing the on-going fiscal challenges.

 

Members had no questions for the external auditor.

 

Councillor Hyland, Leader of the Council, moved reception of the report, thanking the external auditors, Grant Thornton and Mr Dosset and his team for their report and comments.  The Leader stated that it was re-assuring that the independent audit had noted the Council’s continued sound financial governance.  Councillor Hyland thanked the Director of Finance and her Team for their excellent work in producing the accounts on time, particularly in light of the Council’s recent workforce transformation programme.

 

Councillor Hyland was pleased to note that the Council was one of the few authorities in the Country already working to the Government’s new target for the production of draft accounts by 31st May each year, due to be in place by 2018.  As a result of these the changes the Leader stated that the July meeting of the Council could be held a week earlier than usual.

 

Councillor Austen addressed the Council, as the Chair of the Pension Fund Investment and Administration Panel, reporting that the Panel had worked well with officers and was pleased with the outcome.  He was pleased that the members of the Council’s Pension Fund could be assured that the Pensions Fund was being prudently managed, administered and in a healthy state.

 

Councillor Hartley expressed his thanks, and that of the Conservative Group, to the Director of Finance and her team and the external auditor for their work on the Statement of Accounts.  He advised that he understood that the accounts of ancillary or subsidiary companies of the Council were produced in line with their individual governance arrangements and that there was no obligation to publish them alongside the full accounts.  Councillor Hartley requested that the accounts of these companies be published in future in conjunction with the Council’s Statement so as to enable Members’ scrutiny of all of the Council’s financial interests.

 

The Leader of the Council formally closed the debate.

 

Unanimously Resolved-

 

1.    That the Audit Findings Report (AFR); Royal Borough of Greenwich at appendix 1b to the report and Pension Fund at appendix 2b, be noted.

 

2.    That it be noted that the Audit and Risk Management Panel and Pension Fund Investment and Administration had considered the Audit Findings report and had no comments for consideration by Council.

 

3.    That the Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2016, at Appendix 1d, incorporating agreed amendments be approved.

 

4.      That it be agreed that the Mayor sign and date the revised Statement of Accounts.

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