The Committee is asked to approve the Statement of Accounts for the year ended 31st March 2018, including Gloucestershire Pension Fund Accounts 2017/18.
Jayne Fuller, Corporate Finance Manager presented the report in detail. It was explained that the draft accounts were produced and presented for audit on 31st May 2018. The Director of Strategic Finance approved this Statement of Accounts for 2017/18. By doing so the Director of Strategic Finance confirmed the accounts presented a true and fair view of the Council’s financial position as at 31st March 2018 and the income and expenditure for the year.
In accordance with the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015, the draft accounts were available for public inspection for 30 working days, which was required to include the first two weeks of July. The inspection period for 2017-18 was from 1st June 2018 to 12th July 2018. It was noted that this included access via the Council’s website.
A number of minor changes and updates agreed with Grant Thornton have been incorporated into the statement of accounts. It is important to emphasis that these amendments did not change the Council’s outturn position approved by Cabinet in June 2018 or the level of usable reserves or balances reported in the balance sheet.
Members were provided with a detailed accounts training session on 18th July 2018, which provided members with an opportunity to ask detailed questions about the accounts.
The summary report was intended to draw members’ attention to the key pieces of financial and accounting information contained within the Council’s Statement of Accounts. Therefore, this information should be considered in conjunction with the explanatory foreword of the 2017/18 Statement of Accounts.
During the discussion, a member requested that in relation to the income and expenditure statement, it would be beneficial to see what amount each service received for its initial budget on a year on year basis, including fees, income generated, etc. It would assist members with their understanding and inform their questioning around the budget process and any trends e.g. income increases and decreases. The Director of Finance explained this point had been raised at OSMC and the request was being actioned as part of the MTFS process.
In response to a question, the Director of Strategic Finance referred members to Pages 150 - 153 of the report, which detailed the breakdown of salaries and staffing costs for senior officers. In response to a further question, Members were advised that the previous Director of Children’s Services had reached the retirement age and decided to retire as per her entitlement. A footnote on page 151 of the report, detailed the retirement in the accounts provided transparency. It was explained that a member of staff who reached the statutory retirement age was entitled to retire if they wished to. In response to a further question, it was noted that the appointments committee purely dealt with appointments and dismissals of the council’s most senior officers.
It was noted that officers should be congratulated on their efforts to produce the accounts in a timely manner, whilst responding to a shorter deadline. It was noted that all the issues had been publicly spoken about and the Authority was open and transparent.
It was agreed that the Committee formally approved the Statement of Accounts and the Chairman of the Audit and Governance Committee signed the letter of representation on behalf of the Authority and Gloucestershire Pension Fund.
That the Committee formally approved the statement of accounts year ending 31st March 2018.
That the Chairman of the Audit and Governance Committee and the Director of Strategic Finance signed the letter of representation on behalf of the Authority and Gloucestershire Pension Fund