Rossendale Borough Council's financial management performance and processes are subject to three different audit and inspection regimes
- internal audit throughout the year,
- public inspection of the year-end accounts and
- external audit of the year-end accounts.
All audit plans and reports are submitted to the Audit and Accounts Committee
Internal audit is provided by Lancashire County Council's Internal Audit Service in order to ensure a comprehensive, professional service in the most efficient and effective way possible for a small district authority.
The Council's financial systems, processes, transactions and governance procedures are subject to regular internal audit reviews. The main financial systems are audited on an annual basis, with others being less regular or on an ad-hoc basis in line with an agreed Audit Plan which is approved by the above Committee in June each year.
Progress against the audit plan and the high-level outcomes of each investigation are also reported to each committee, along with a full report on the year in June.
Once the draft Statement of Accounts have been approved by the Audit & Accounts Committee in June they are then subject to a statutory period of public inspection. From the 2015/16 accounts the period of public inspection will always run for the working days during the month of July, therefore there is no longer a requirement to advertise the rights listed below in the local press. For the 2017/18 accounts onwards these statutory timescales will move forward one month so that the draft accounts must be presented before the end of May, with public inspection being during the month of June and the conclusion of the audit being on or before the end of July.
Under the Audit Commission Act 1998, sections 15 & 16 and the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2011 Regulations 9, 10, 21, 22 & 24 the Council’s accounts are subject to external audit by Grant Thornton auditor Karen Murray of 4 Hardman Square, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3EB. Members of the public and local government electors have certain rights in the audit process:
1. For all working days in July, between 9am and 4pm, Monday to Friday, any person may inspect the accounts of the Council for the year ended 31st March 2016 and certain related documents (comprising books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers and receipts) at The Business Centre, Futures Park, Bacup, OL13 0BB. They may also make copies of the accounts and documents. Alternatively the accounts are available online at the Council’s website www.rossendale.gov.uk
2. From the beginning of July until the conclusion of the audit process, a local government elector for the area of the Council, or his/her representative, may ask the auditor questions about the accounts. Please contact the auditor at the address given above to make arrangements to ask any questions.
3. From the beginning of July until the conclusion of the audit process, a local government elector for the area of the Council, or his/her representative, may object to the Council’s accounts asking that the auditor issue a report in the public interest (under section 8 of the Audit Commission Act 1998) and/or apply to the court for a declaration that an item in the accounts is contrary to law (under section 17 of the Audit Commission Act 1998). Written notice of a proposed objection and the grounds on which it is made must be sent to the auditor at the address given above and copied to me at the address given below.
Phil Seddon, Head of Finance & Property Services , 22nd May 2016
For more information about public rights of inspection visit the Public Sector Appointments Ltd