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Smaller Authorities Exemption

0 votes

On the Certificate of Exemption form it states:

lf you are able to confirm that the above statements apply and that the authority neither received gross income, nor incurred gross expenditure, exceeding f25,000, then the Certificate of Exemption can be signed and a copy submitted to the external auditor either by email or by post (not both)

After this it then goes on to say:

The Annual lnternal Audit Report, Annual Governance Statement, Accounting Statements, an analysis of variances and the bank reconciliation plus the information required by Regulation 15 (2), Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 including the period for the exercise of public rights still need to be fully completed and, along with a copy of this certificate, published on the authority website/webpage* before 1 July 2022.

By signing this certificate you are also confirming that you are aware of this requirement

So it the bottom section an actual requirement, or is it only the top section that is a requirement? The wording is confusing.

by (200 points)

1 Answer

+1 vote
Both - you have to send the Certificate of Exemption to the External Auditors and display the items in the bottom paragraph on the website and within the parish.
by (20.5k points)
Thanks. That's what i thought. But the local auditor had ticked box K to say the council had correctly declared itself exempt despite them only complying with the top bit and not the bottom bit.

Guess internal auditing is not worth the paper its written on. Just a job for the boys ticking boxes and collecting their fee.
I'm curious whether the period of electors rights was adhered to then as the usual course of action would be for a complaint to be made to the external auditors.  This applies whether or not the parish qualified for an "exemption".
The internal audit has to take place before the external audit and so they could tick box k before the information is published.
They set the date but this was only communicated in the minutes. Proper notice was not given. So technically the period of rights has not yet commenced and never will. Seems like a bit of a loophole in the law, all councils need to do is not publish the notice and then no-one can object.
Box K refers to last years exemption. There has never been an external audit as they declared themselves exempt.

The internal auditors report from last year raised the issue of non publication of required information. Yet this year they ticked box k to confirm "lf the authority certified itself as exempt from a limited assurance review in 2020121, it met the exemption criteria and correctly declared itself exempt"
Regardless of whether a parish council claims an exemption from an external audit or not, residents have the right to raise issues with the external auditor and due notice of that right and how and when it can be exercise must be on the parish council's website and notice boards.  The external auditors for the area need to be identified so that the issue can be raised with them going forward.   I do agree, however, that the internal audit is looking at the past year not the present one when answering questions relating to the functions of the council during the financial year in question.

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