Audit Commission criticise Merseytravel in audit report on Mann Island lease
Unfortunately I arrived at the meeting (starting at 2.30pm) about fifteen minutes late, caused in part by an eight minute delay due to Platform 1 at nearby James Street station being closed (which is run by Merseyrail in which Merseytravel have a controlling interest) and other reasons.
When I got there (and negotiated my way to the first floor using the terribly confusing system for the lifts where you have to enter your floor number and press another button before you get into the lift), the meeting had started, the agenda had already been reordered and the item I was particularly interested in (ten) had already started as unfortunately items 3-9 were being left to the end of the meeting. I had missed completely agenda items 1 (Apologies for absence) and 2 (Minutes of the last meeting), which is no big loss as the minutes can be read on Merseytravel’s website and who was absent could be ascertained by who was there.
Agenda item 10 was the Audit Commission: Completion of 2011/12 Audit which sounds dull but wasn’t. The Audit Commission were there to report on the Completion of the 2011/2012 Audit for Merseytravel (both the Merseyside Integrated Transport Authority and Merseyside Integrated Transport Executive).
The audit fees had increased by £10,140 due to an extra two and half weeks of unplanned work required by the District Auditor, Audit Manager and Principal Auditor which related to four areas:-
a) responding to queries from officers, councillors and members of the public,
b) problems with working papers, quality assurance not being robust, not all agreed improvements being made,
c) changes to accounts and disclosures
d) errors in the accounting treatment for the Mann Island lease (see picture below) and lease incentives.