Marshalswick South Focus Team

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Key county council committee again unable to approve Tory accounts

by awitherick on 31 October, 2010

The Audit Committee of Hertfordshire County Council, which met last week, heard further concerns from the external Auditor about the council’s failure to provide accurate accounts even on what is already a postponed date. The reason for the further delay is that errors are still being uncovered: at today’s meeting the auditor and county council staff were till tabling corrections.

The Auditor commented that the ‘cumulative error rate is close to “materiality” ‘: materiality is the trigger point at which an auditor will insist upon changes to the accounts before he is willing to sign a clean audit report. In the case of Hertfordshire County Council the Auditor estimates materiality to be £40 million ie 2% of the general fund.

He stated that a ‘Section 11’ report is merited – a rare event in local government which means that the Auditor’s concerns have to be debated at full council.

It is anticipated that the Section 11 report will be published shortly.

The level of concern raised by the Liberal Democrats actually lead to a positive press release from the Tory run County Council having to be formally retracted.

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