Agenda item

Agenda item

2015/16 Statement of Accounts


To present for approval the 2015/16 Statement of Accounts for Central Bedfordshire Council and the letter of representation to the external auditors.




The Committee considered a report by the Chief Finance Officer which presented the 2015/16 Statement of Accounts for approval.  A copy of this document was attached at Appendix A to the Chief Finance Officer’s report.  In addition a schedule of changes to the Statement of Accounts certified by the Chief Finance Officer on 28 June 2016 was attached at Appendix B and a draft Letter of Representation 2015/16 was attached at Appendix C to the report.  Last, a schedule of additional changes to the Statement of Accounts, also marked as Appendix B, was circulated at the meeting.  The amendments in both Appendices B were mainly classification or typographical corrections and had no impact on the General Fund balance being essentially presentational.  A copy of the appendix circulated at the meeting is attached at Appendix A to these minutes.


The Committee was aware that the annual accounts had to be published with the audit opinion and certificate by no later than 30 September following the end of the financial year.  The accounts first needed to be approved by Members so approval was required at this meeting of the Audit Committee.  In addition, auditing standards required an authority’s external auditor, in this case Ernst & Young LLP, to obtain appropriate written representation from the Council about the financial statements and governance arrangements.  As a result the Committee was also asked to approve a draft letter of representation to Ernst & Young.  A copy of the letter was attached at Appendix C to the Chief Finance Officer’s report.


For Members’ benefit the Head of Financial Control worked through the annual accounts document.  He made particular reference to two specific areas of interest, the first being the Council’s outstanding Private Finance Initiative (PFI) liability arising from its schools PFI contract.  He explained the background to this matter, some of which was set out within the Statement, and how, following a query from Ernst & Young a revised accounting model would be applied from the 2016/17 financial year.


The Head of Financial Control next turned to the Better Care Fund, introduced from April 2015, which represented the second area of interest.  He again provided Members with information in addition to that set out within the report, the meeting noting that the Fund aimed to increase the integration of the local authority and health sectors through pooled budget arrangements.  In Central Bedfordshire’s case this was with the NHS Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).  The accounts had been amended following the external audit to clarify that the substance of the Fund’s operation during 2015/16 was a partnership rather than a pooled budget arrangement.  The presentation in the Council’s accounts was now consistent with the CCG’s accounts.




1          that the 2015/16 Statement of Accounts for Central Bedfordshire Council, as set out at Appendix A to the report of the Chief Finance Officer and incorporating those amendments set out in the two schedules of changes at Appendices B, be approved;


2          that the Annual Governance Statement for 2015/16, previously approved at the meeting of the Audit Committee on 27 June 2016, be included with the published 2015/16 Statement of Accounts;


3          that the Chairman of the Committee and the Chief Finance Officer be authorised to sign the draft 2015/16 Letter of Representation as set out to Appendix C of the Chief Finance Officer’s report for submission to the Council’s external auditor Ernst & Young LLP;


4          that should minor changes be required to the 2015/16 Statement of Accounts and the 2015/16 Letter of Representation following completion of the audit the Chairman and Chief Finance Officer be authorised to approve and sign the revised versions of these documents.




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