This report sets out the responsibilities of this Committee in relation to signing off the Statement of Accounts and any matters raised by the External Auditors on the 2017/18 Statement of Accounts.
Philip Crow, Interim Head of LBS Financial Strategy and Reporting, introduced the report as presented by the external auditors, Grant Thornton. Attention was drawn to paragraph 4.9: that there were no material errors in the accounts. Thanks were given by the external auditors for officer efficiency and cooperation across the Council, to which the Vice Chair, Councillor David Hicks expressed his concurrence.
Points of clarification were raised on the receipt of benefits and the timing of the accounts of Sutton Housing Partnership, to which further explanation was provided.
Councillor Colin Stears referred to the low reserves mentioned and whether there was a risk associated in comparison to other boroughs. The external auditors referred to the reserves policy and expressed a similarity in range to other boroughs in southwest London.
Councillor Nick Mattey enquired as to the impact of a high court case on the Council with regards to Sutton Housing Partnership and which related to water and sewerage charges (p.76 of the supplementary agenda pack). The external auditors explained that there was a £1.2million provision made in the Council’s account. Councillor Joyce Melican provided further context and explained that this had been taken up by London Councils.
1. Grant Thornton’s Audit findings report on the 2017/18 main Sutton Accounts Audit be noted, as well as the comments made and the unqualified opinion given (Appendix D).
2. Grant Thornton’s Audit findings report on the 2017/18 Pension Fund Audit be noted, as well as the comments made and the unqualified opinion given (Appendix E).
3. The two Letters of Representation to the Auditors be agreed (Appendices A and B).
4. The final 2017/18 Statement of Accounts as amended be approved including the Council’s Annual Governance Statement (Appendix C).
5. The unqualified Value for Money conclusion included in the Audit Findings Report (Appendix D) be noted.