Agenda item

External Audit Plan 2021/22

Report of the External Auditors, Ernst & Young



Hayley Clark (Partner), and Dan Spiller (Senior Manager), Ernst & Young LLP attended the meeting to present the report to the Committee.



Hayley Clark explained that the report set out the Council’s Audit risks and areas of focus, in which the risks identified had not seen much progress.



The Committee were informed that the materiality for 2021/22 were set at £28.7m. That represented 1.8% of the Council’s 2021/22 Draft Accounts’ gross expenditure on provision of services.



Hayley Clark referred to page 32 of the report which outlined Ernst & Young’s timetable of communication and deliverables.



Dan Spiller referred to page 5 of the report which set the Council’s Audit risks. It was explained that a new risk had been identified which was the Valuation of Highways Infrastructure Assets. Although, this risk had emerged nationally therefore impacted many authorities. The Committee were informed that further details on that risk were set out on page 14 of the report.



Dan Spiller explained there was 3 areas that could potentially cause significant impact in relation to Value for Money and they were identified on page 22 of the report.



Members of the Committee asked questions and the following responses were provided: -



Hayley Clark explained that Ernst & Young’s audit had already started and would continue over the coming months. Those audit results would be reported at the Audit and Standards Committee meeting in January 2023. It was added that the Value for Money commentary would be reported at the March 2023 Committee meeting. Hayley Clark mentioned that if anything of significant impact needed to be reported earlier than scheduled, then they would bring those findings to an earlier Committee meeting.



Hayley Clark explained that due to the change in Code of Audit Practice in 2020, Ernst & Young do have a responsibility to monitor the Council’s current financial position. It was added that Ernst & Young also had regular meetings with the Director of Finance and Commercial Services, in which they received regular updates.



The Director of Finance and Commercial Services, Ryan Keyworth asked that Ernst & Young raised any significant issues with the Committee, prior to the Committee signing of the Council’s 2023/24 Budget in March 2023.



Hayley Clark explained that the new risk identified around Valuation of Highways Infrastructure Assets was a complex technical issue. She explained that it mainly came down to the valuation of assets on the balance sheet and there were ongoing consultations to identify a way forward at a national level. These were still underway and Ernst and Young would continue to liaise with management on this risk, and take action to assess the extent to which the issue impacts on the Council.



RESOLVED: That the Audit & Standards Committee noted the External Audit Plan 2021/22.



Supporting documents: