Marshalswick South Focus Team

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County Audit failures lead to 16% rise in fees

by awitherick on 3 December, 2009

The Audit Commission, which is responsible for checking that the County Council is dealing with its accounts properly, has written to say that they are increasing the fee by nearly 16% next year because the Tory run council has failed to deal with issues originally identified in 2007/08.

Their original estimates for the amount of work that they would have to do next year had been based on the Tory County Council actually DEALING  with the issues having had two years to sort it out.  Instead they have found it has not been done and are in effect no longer confident.

Cllr Allan Witherick who is a member of the committee raised concerns about the audit levels and the possible future reductions in Internal Audit.  “Residents rely on the council to provide value for money.  Instead even it’s own auditors don’t have faith in this.”

The following is an extract from the letter:

“My 2008/09 audit identified continuing weaknesses in respect of capital accounting and
recording of fixed assets as the Council’s asset registers in support of the accounts did not
accurately record all the assets the Council owned. This led to my opinion on the accounts
being qualified. The 2007/08 accounts were also qualified for this reason.
In my original fee letter I set out my assumption that these weaknesses would have been
addressed in 2008/09 and so would not impact on the 2009/10 audit. Based on the outcome of
the 2008/09 audit and the work which is currently in progress to validate asset data and
implement a new asset management system, I have revised my assessment of the amount of
audit work likely to be required to issue the opinion on the 2009/10 financial statements.”

Click here to read the original Audit Commission letter.

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