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Agenda Item No. 6









“           EXTERNAL AUDIT PLAN 2018 (MD) –


This report was presented by the WAO.  A copy of the External Audit Plan 2018 was attached at Appendix 1 to the report with the key highlights being reported as


  • To issue a certificate and report on the Council's financial statements which included an opinion on their "truth and fairness".   Whether the Council had made proper arrangements for securing economy, efficiency and effectives in its use of resources and report by exception if the Annual Governance Statement did not comply with requirements;
  • To audit / independently examine the Joint Committee arrangements which were hosted by the Council, these being Shared Regulatory Services and Adoption Service.  In addition an independent examination of the Welsh Church Act Fund would be undertaken in accordance with timescales agreed with the Council and the Charity Commission;
  • A programme of performance audit work would be undertaken as outlined in Exhibit 4 within the report.


The proposed fees for work associated with the External Audit Plan 2018, was £261,356.  There was an additional fee of £50,000 for the grant certification work which was estimated and was invoiced as the work was undertaken and an estimated fee of £14,374 for the Joint Committee and Welsh Church Act audit work


The Auditor, in presenting the report, stated that key financial risks that had been identified at the planning stage of the Audit were itemised at Exhibit 2 of the report. The table referred to financial audit risks in relation to management override, City Deal, the use of accounting estimates and items of accounts identified as materially sensitive.  Under the performance aspect of the report the Auditor stated that he needed to balance the existing, new and proposed statutory duties with the need to continue to undertake meaningful risk-based and proportionate audits and assessments. 


The 2018 Performance Audit Programme would include local projects and national studies as detailed below:


  • Improvement audit and assessment working improvement planning and reporting audit
  • Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 examinations
  • Assurance and risk assessment
  • Environmental health
  • Leisure services
  • Corporate safeguarding arrangements
  • Reshaping services programme and delivery of savings and under Local Government Studies 2018/19 reference was made to the implementation of the Social Services and Well-being Act and the implementation of the Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015
  • Value for money of planning services.


In conclusion, the Auditor stated that details of future developments with audit work included changes to key International Financial Reporting Systems (IFRS) and the Wales Audit Office’s Good Practice Exchange Seminars.  The Wales Audit Office’s GPX programme would seek to support the improvement of public services across Wales by identifying and sharing good practice. 


Following a query from a Member regarding changes to pension benefit fund management, the Wales Audit Officer advised that he was aware that eight Local Authorities were attempting to join together to provide one LGPS service with the host Council likely to be Carmarthen.  Members raised concerns in relation to the security element of such proposals with the Auditor responding that one of the audit functions would be to ensure that each individual assessment fund was monitored and audited properly.  Governance arrangements were currently being developed.


RESOLVED – T H A T the External Audit Plan 2018 be referred to Cabinet for approval.


Reason for decision


To progress the External Audit work programme and to ensure that robust scrutiny of the External Audit Plan took place.”



Attached as Appendix - Report to Audit Committee: 1st May, 2018