Agenda and minutes

Venue: The Yarrow Room, Lewes Town Hall, High Street, Lewes BN7 2QS

Contact: Ellie Simpkin, Democratic Services Officer  01323 462085, Email:

No. Item


Declarations of Interest

In relation to matters on the agenda, seek declarations of interest from Members, in accordance with the provisions of the Fire Authority’s Code of Conduct for Members


There were none.


Apologies for Absence


Apologies had been received from Councillor Redstone.  Councillor Dowling was attending as his substitute. Apologies were also received from Councillor Azad.


Notification of items which the Chair considers urgent and proposes to take at the end of the agenda/Chair's business items

Any Members wishing to raise urgent items are asked, wherever possible, to notify the Chair before the start of the meeting.  In so doing, they must state the special circumstances which they consider justify the matter being considered urgently


There were none.


Minutes of the last Scrutiny & Audit Panel meeting held on 22 July 2021 pdf icon PDF 322 KB


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the Scrutiny & Audit Panel meeting held on 22 July 2021 be approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.



The Chairman will call the item numbers of the remaining items on the open agenda. Each item which is called by any Member shall be reserved for debate. The Chairman will then ask the Panel to adopt without debate the recommendations and resolutions contained in the relevant reports for those items which have not been called


Members reserved the following items for debate:


21        External Auditor’s Audit Results Report (ISA 260) and Statement of Accounts 2020/21


External Auditor's Audit Results Report (ISA 260) and Statement of Accounts 2020/21 pdf icon PDF 139 KB

Report of the Assistant Director Resources/Treasurer

Additional documents:


The Panel received a report from the Assistant Director Resources/Treasurer (ADR/T) which presented the External Auditor’s Results Report (ISA 260) and the opinion on the Authority’s 2020/21 Statement of Accounts.  The Panel noted that EY, the Authority’s external auditors, had substantially completed its audit of the Authority’s financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2021, however, there were outstanding matters, as listed in the report.  It was now unlikely that these outstanding matters would be resolved for the audit opinion and certificate to be issued before the statutory deadline of 30 September 2021.  In this eventuality the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (as amended) required that the Authority published a notice stating that it had not been able to publish the statement of accounts and its reasons for this.  The Authority was then required to publish its statement of accounts together with any audit opinion or certificate as soon as reasonably practicable after the receipt of the auditor’s final finding.  There was no penalty for failing to meet the statutory deadline for the publication of the audited accounts. 


The Panel noted that as of 17 September 2021, EY had made no recommendations for improvement as a result of its audit of the accounts and had raised no specific issues which required a response in the Letter of Representation.  The ISA 260 confirmed that the Authority had in place proper arrangements for securing value for money. 


The Panel welcomed Stephan van der Merwe from EY to the meeting who confirmed that the audit had been substantially completed, however there was an outstanding matter of the final assurance letter from the auditor of East Sussex Pension Fund which was still awaited.  In addition, whereas in previous years the audit accepted the valuation of the Pension Fund by the Authority’s actuary, Barnett Waddingham, in the IAS19 report, there was now a requirement for the auditor to assess the valuation calculation which would need to be carried out by a specialist team at EY.  It was unlikely that this work would be completed before the 30 September deadline.  Mr van der Merwe added that the value for money assessment was set out in the Auditor’s Audit Results Report and no significant issues had been identified. A Value for Money commentary would be presented to the Panel at its next meeting in the Auditor’s Annual Report.


The ADR/T reassured the Panel that there had been no material misstatements and no recommendations arising from the audit and that despite not meeting deadline, the Authority was in a positive position. Should the conclusion of the audit identify the need for any material adjustment to the accounts then a revised version would be submitted to the Panel for consideration. 


A proposed additional recommendation to delegate authority to the Assistant Director Resources/Treasurer, following consultation with the Panel Chair, to make any minor amendments required to the 2020/21 Statement of Accounts on receipt of the final Audit Opinion from the Authority’s External Auditors.’ was tabled.  This was moved  ...  view the full minutes text for item 21.