The Audit & Governance Committee of EBC were told that for the re-timetabled start of the audit of the year ended 31st March 2020, this July, the full set of information requested was not available!

Conservative Councillor Kshama Shore, a member of the Committee, pictured, described this as a “litany of disasters”.

The missing information included such basic areas as a complete trial balance and general ledger reconciliations and Group accounts.

It is the absence of information that has continually delayed this and the prior year audits with the LibDem Council blaming the auditors for the delay.

Conservative Councillor Robert Smart says “It is just unbelievable, given the history of these audits that the information was not available some two years later, and amplifies the comments that Councillor Shore and I made to the Local Government Association Peer Review this week.”

EBC replied: “The audit work is progressing well. In response to the auditor’s request in 2022 relating to 2019/20 accounts, the council carried out an additional valuation exercise of a specific entity.  Officers responded immediately and commissioned a valuation consultant to undertake this work which delayed the process by a month. 

Council officers have worked very hard to support the audit work and will continue to do so.”