Agenda item

Verbal Update - Annual Report and Accounts


Beverley White provided an update on publication of the Annual Report and Accounts, and the requirement to approve the Council’s Draft Statement of Accounts, which include the Pension Fund Accounts by 31 July, and the Final accounts by 30 September 2021.


The draft accounts were approved by the Corporate Director of Resources (Interim) on 18 June 2021 and were published on the Council’s website that day. The accounts were then reviewed by Mazars, the External Auditor and presented to Audit Committee on 30 September 2021. An unqualified opinion was issued by the External Auditors, and Audit Committee Members approved the final set of accounts at their meeting on 30 September 2021, after first considering the views of the External Auditors. She was pleased to report that the statutory deadlines for approving and publishing the Statement of Accounts was met.


The Pension Fund accounts must be included in the Pension Fund Annual Report. The publication deadline for this was 1 December 2021, but had been approved by the Corporate Director of Resources (Interim) on 30 September 2021. The Pension Fund Annual Report and Accounts would be published on the Council’s website before the deadline. Highlights from the Annual Report and Accounts would be presented to the Pension Fund’s Annual meeting on 10 November 2021, and reported to the Pension Fund Committee’s next meeting on 9 December 2021 when the External Auditor would present the Audit Completion Report.


The headline financial outturn position reported in the Statement of Accounts was that net assets had increased by £694m up to £3.84bn during the year.


Following a question from Councillor Renton, Beverley White stated that until recently legislation required the draft accounts to be published by 31 May 2021 and the final accounts by the end of July. Due to the pandemic the deadlines were extended and the Redmond Review recommended changes to the deadlines, initially to allow Auditors to complete audits on time and allow Councils to meet the deadlines to publish the final accounts. Durham had the support of its External Auditors and with regular meetings and dialogue were able to publish on time. Many local authorities were not in this position. She was hopeful that the deadlines could be achieved again next year.


The Chair congratulated Officers on the achievement.




That the information given be noted.