District council given clean bill of health by auditors

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Independent auditors have given South Kesteven District Council a clean bill of health in their latest report.

The council’s audit and governance committee heard last week that an annual governance report by KPMG has delivered ‘an unqualified opinion’.

KPMG explained: “This means we are satisfied that during the year the authority had appropriate arrangements for securing economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the use of its resources.”

The auditors investigated council finances for the year 2016/17 and noted the council spent just £7.3 million out of a £21.5 million capital programme.

Spending the money late was “significant”, it warned, adding: “The authority needs to ensure it has significant capacity to deliver the programme and keep progress under review.”

Similarly, “risks” were noted with the council’s medium term financial strategy and further monitoring was needed. However, KPMG also said the council gave a “true and fair position” on its finances.

“No material errors were identified during the audit and there were no uncorrected audit differences we needed to report. We considered that the authority’s accounting practices to be appropriate, the draft accounts were published well ahead of the deadline and the quality of supporting working papers was good,” it added.

Coun Adam Stokes, SKDC cabinet member for finance, said:  “We are very pleased with the contents of the report and felt it reflected the diligence and hard work of members and officers. It shows the council is working hard with our policies as an authority to ensure that we use resources effectively for our residents.”

Governance and audit committee chairman Coun Ian Stokes told the meeting the report was “very favourable.”