FENLANDER: Audit Commission praises council for its handling of money

FENLAND District Council has been congratulated by a team of independent auditors for continuing to manage its finances extremely well over the past year, despite the significant extra burdens that have been placed on it.

In its Annual Audit Letter for 2010/11, PricewaterhouseCoopers said that its audit had been carried out “against the backdrop of the most significant changes to local government financial reporting in recent memory”.

The auditors said: “These changes have combined to place a considerable additional burden on both the finance and audit teams and we are extremely grateful to the finance team for their hard work in ensuring that the draft accounts were prepared to a high standard.

“The proactive nature of their relationship with us has helped ensure that the audit was completed on time and with only disclosure related changes required to the accounts. This is a significant achievement for the council.”

The auditors found that all the proper arrangements were in place to secure “economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the use of resources”, leading them to issue “an unqualified value for money conclusion”.

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The report was presented to FDC’s Corporate Governance Committee last week.

Councillor John Clark, FDC’s portfolio holder responsible for financial management, said: “We’re delighted by this report. As the auditors themselves say, this is a significant achievement and I’d like to thank staff for all their hard work.

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“The report shows that robust mechanisms are in place to ensure that all our finances continue to be extremely well managed. We knew that to be the case – now it has been officially confirmed by outside, independent assessors.”

Councillor Florence Newell, chairman of the Corporate Governance Committee, added: “A year ago the auditors predicted, rightly, that we would face significant financial challenges given the current economic climate.

“This report proves that we have succeeded in meeting those challenges. Great credit is due to all the staff involved.”

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