Agenda item

External Audit- Draft IAS260 Report

To receive a draft report on the above titled item.


Jonathan Gooding, Partner- Audit and Assurance; Deloitte outlined the above titled report. Members were informed that the audit was ongoing and whilst significant amount of audit work had been performed but that the final completed audit would surpass the 31st July 2019 deadline. Members were told that progress of the pensions audit was overall good. Third party communications had been worked on and currently work streams relating to specialist valuations and bonds was being undertaken. Progress updates on the audit plan included significant risks, which comprised of management override of controls and capital expenditure. The Panel were told that data extraction included all transactions from the general ledger and that these would be reconciled. Deloitte employed a data analytics platform which highlighted fraud through transactions. The platform provided evidence whilst looking at transactions to negate fraud. It was noted that there had been no highlighted or visible issues with the ongoing work in capitalised expenditure.


Members were told that the Council participates in the fund it administers, the Berkshire Pension Fund. It was highlighted that the Council’s pension liability was affected by the recent legal case; McCloud in respect of potential discrimination in the implementation of transitional protections following changes in the public sector. It was highlighted that there was a need for assumptions to be amended and that this had been tested by the selected actuary. There were two international standards being published over the upcoming months and it was confirmed that this would have little to no impact on RBWM. There had been various strengths highlighted with financial reporting measures. It was highlighted that value for money arrangements were in progress with no significant identified weaknesses.


At the conclusion of the report, Councillor Targowski queried if there were any current pressures that would negate the audit being completed. It was stated that there were no obvious concerns but that working collaborations and willingness to adjust had been working well, but that confirmation could not be given at this stage. Councillor Walters queried whether Deloitte had an independent valuation partner and it was confirmed that they did but that they remained impartial and independent of the organisation. Councillor Jones  queried whether the narrative report had been updated and it was confirmed that the narrative report had been amended and would be discussed with the team and further amendments would be made if needed with relation to non-financial KPIs. Duncan Sharkey, Managing Director (RBWM), outlined that the Council had selected key identifiable indicators and these had limited flexibility. It was noted that more context would be added to improve performance monitoring and that proxy measures showed the general direction of travel of Council performance for its respective service areas. Councillor Sharpe queried how the authority compared nationally and it was confirmed that a high number of local authorities did not have a good quality annual report and that strengthening was needed to identify clear opportunities and KPIs.


ACTION- That the final IAS260 report return to the special meeting of the Corporate Overview & Scrutiny in September for consideration and agreement.

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