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Agenda item

External Audit - 2019/20 Annual Audit Letter - Report of the External Auditor


The Committee received the Annual Audit Letter for year ending 31 March 2020 from the External Auditor summarising the audit of Durham County Council and Durham County Council Pension Fund (for copy see file of minutes). 


Mr Kirkham, Mazars focused on the financial outlook and operational challenges with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and highlighted additional fees associated with the additional work carried out during 2019/20.


In response to a question from Mr C Robinson, Mr Kirkham advised that the value for money aspect of funds that had been allocated to Councils in response to the COVID-19 pandemic would be considered as part of the routine audit risk assessment procedures for 2021.


The Interim Corporate Director of Resources added that there was a post payment assurance process for specific government grant funding which was linked to value for money consideration as part of the final account’s assessment. He gave assurance to the Committee that work in that area was undertaken independently of those who administer the schemes and incur those costs.


Councillor Shuttleworth commented on the internal control recommendations within the report where the annual declaration of interests had not been completed for 2019/20. The Interim Corporate Director of Resources advised that all members are requested to complete annual declarations of interest forms and it was individual members responsibility. He assured the Committee that incomplete forms would be pursued and would be made available on the Council’s website. 



That the External Auditor’s annual audit letter 2019/20, be noted.

Supporting documents:


Democratic Services
Durham County Council
County Hall
County Durham
03000 269 714