Why is Wirral Council’s draft 2015/16 statement of accounts to be amended following concerns by myself and their external auditor?
I’d perhaps better start by declaring the interest that I’m the person the letter below is to, in response to a letter I wrote to Robin Baker.
In an update to Why am I objecting to Wirral Council’s draft statement of accounts for the 2015/16 financial year? published on the 11th July 2016, I have today received a further reply (that you can read below) from Wirral Council’s auditors Grant Thornton dated 19th July 2016 which I quote from below. I’ve linked to the legislation referred to and the page of the statement of accounts that’s the issue. It seems they agree with me (although curiously don’t address the issue of bonuses too in their letter). I’ve left out some of the bits of their headed notepaper which I summarise in brackets ().
Please note the below letter I quote from was written by Robin Baker of Grant Thornton UK LLP (not myself).
Our Ref RJB/SB
Mr J Brace
134 Boundary Road
(Grant Thornton’s mailing address, telephone number, fax number and website address)
19 July 2016
Dear Mr Brace
Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council
Thank you for your letter of 10 July 2016 to me, which also includes a copy of your letter of the same date to Mr Tom Sault.
I note from your letter that you wish to raise an objection to the accounts of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council. You identify that the draft accounts included on the Council”s website does not comply with the requirements contained within the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015. Specifically for Category 1 authorities there is a requirements under Regulation 2(1)(a) that for employees who salary is more than £150,000 per year, that the name of the employee is included within the Senior employee remuneration table. You highlight the Council’s Chief Executive is on a salary in excess of £150,000 yet he is not named in the table at note 32 of the draft accounts. You ask us to let you know whether we will consider this objection.
As part of our audit process I have reviewed the draft financial statements prepared by the Council. My review also highlighted the omission of the name of the Chief Executive from note 32 to the draft financial statements and I asked my team to raise the matter with the Council. The Council has acknowledged that the failure to name the Chief Executive in the draft financial statements is an oversight that will be corrected in the revised financial statements that will be published before 30 September 2016.
Thank you for raising this matter with me. Given the Council acknowledges the failure to name the Chief Executive is an oversight and will be corrected, we do not consider there is a need to treat this matter as a formal objection to the accounts. The failure to comply with the regulations will be corrected and there will be no continuing breach that would require us to consider whether the accounts are contrary to law.
If you do not agree with this view, please let me know as soon as possible.
For Grant Thornton UK LLP
(bit at the bottom about how they’re Chartered Accounts, a LLP registered in England and Wales, registered office details, list of members available, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, member firm of Grant Thornton International (GTIL) etc)
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