Agenda item

External Audit Progress Report/Update (Verbal Report)


G Mills (representing the External Auditor) was welcomed to the meeting virtually, and made particular reference to the following:


·         The 21/22 audit was progressing and was on track to meet the statutory deadline in November. The External Auditor continued to have a good level of engagement with Senior Officers at the Council. It was reported that there was a national issue in reporting public sector infrastructure assets which could impact the November accounts sign off. Members were assured that any delays would be reported to the Committee. The Department of Levelling Up would be issuing a statutory instrument to remedy this issue, however it could be that this is not available until December.

·         The FRC (Financial Reporting Council) inspection of the VFM (Value for Money) audit final report was not yet ready. In the close down meeting, Grant Thornton received a grade 2 (good file with limited improvements required), praise was received for the good practice and quality of the report that had been submitted to the Committee previously. Improvements included documentation and the audit file itself. This inspection provided a good level of assurance from an independent regulator.

·         PSAA (Public Sector Audit Appointments) had awarded the vast majority of Local Authority audit contracts which were to commence in 2023- 24 for a period of five years. Grant Thornton had secured a significant contract, continuing to be a market leading presence in the sector. Grant Thornton and the Council would learn of their Local Authority / external auditor allocations by Christmas, it was not yet known if GT would continue as auditor to Barnsley.


N Copley (Service Director Financial Services) reported that a consultation for future audit fees would be fed through the Committee.


RESOLVED that the update and report be noted.