Agenda item

Ernst and Young - 2021 to 2022 Audit Results Report to those Charged with Governance

Report number: PAS/WS/23/013



The Cabinet Member for Resources introduced David Riglar from EY, the Council’s external auditors who were in attendance to present their final report (report number: PAS/WS/23/013), following the conclusion of the audit work on the 2021 to 2022 accounts.


The Cabinet Member reported the Council had received an unqualified opinion that the final accounts gave a true and fair view of the financial position of West Suffolk Council and an unqualified opinion on their value for money assessment.  The accounts therefore be signed following the meeting and the Council looked forward to hearing from EY when the 2022 to 2023 audit would commence.


David Riglar from EY then drew the Committee’s attention to Appendix A and highlighted the following areas:


-      Page 5 – Scope update: There were no issues to report.

-      Page 5 - Status of the audit: Final signing of the accounts.

-      Page 6 – Areas of audit focus having a higher risk:

·         Valuation of Mildenhall Hub (3G pitch valuation had been excluded).

·         Valuation of solar farm: Increase in value by an adjustment of £4.99m.


-      Page 7 – Pensions liability valuation: Statement amended to reflect an increase in pension liability of £4.28m.

-      Page 8- Value for Money: No significant risk and no exception to report.

-      Page 9 – Audit differences: classification adjustment on balance sheet.

-      Page 10 – Control observations: Did not identify any significant deficiencies in internal control.


The Committee considered the report in detail and asked questions to which responses were provided.  In particular discussions were held on the solar farm and how it was valued and whether the valuation took into account the life of the solar panels.


In response to a question raised relating to the Mildenhall Hub asset having a number of third-party leases unsigned (Appendix A, page 10), officers explained that there were a number of partners involved in the Hub.  Funding partners had an agreement to enter into a lease, as they funded the build of the Mildenhall Hub.  Other partners had appropriate licences called “tenancy at will”, which were being updated with a complete lease. At the beginning the focus was on making the building work.  A number of leases had now been completed and the remainder would be completed shortly.  The Council was using lessons learnt in future other developments by having draft forms of leases upfront. 


In response to a questions raised on how the Mildenhall Hub (the Hub) was listed in the asset register, members were informed the Hub was componentised including between land and buildings.

There being no decision required, the Committee, noted that:


1)   The work in respect of the audit opinion on the financial statements for West Suffolk Council for 2021 to 2022 had been completed.


2)   The auditor had no matters to report on the Council’s arrangements to secure economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the Council’s use of resources.


3)   The Chief Finance Officer, in consultation with the Chair of the Performance and Audit Scrutiny Committee had delegation to conclude the signing of the 2021 to 2022 accounts.

Supporting documents: