Statement of accounts

The statement of accounts is the formal financial report on the activities of the council as required by the accounts and audit regulations.

The draft accounts for the financial year 2017-2018 will be certified by the Service Director - Finance on 31 May 2018 and published on the Council’s website. This section covers how any member of the public can obtain permission to inspect these accounts.

Public inspection of the accounts is governed by the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 (the Act), the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 and the Local Audit (Public Access to documents) Act 2017.

The period for the exercise of public rights is 1 June to 12 July 2018, between the hours of 9.00am and 4.30pm.
 
Initial applications for inspection should be made to Alison Elsdon, Service Director - Finance, County Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 2EF or via e-mail to Alison.Elsdon@northumberland.gov.uk
 
The Council’s External Auditors are Ernst & Young LLP of Citygate, St James’ Boulevard, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4JD. 

The full guide to Public Inspection of the Accounts is available on the National Audit Office website.
 
The main rights that are conferred on members of the public are:
 
Any interested person or journalist can inspect the accounts for 2017-2018 that are subject to audit; that is all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers and receipts underlying the accounts for the year under inspection;
Copies of the accounts and supporting documents can be taken;(a small charge may be levied);
 
In addition, a local authority elector for the area has the right to ask the external auditor questions about the accounts:
 
As a local elector, if you believe an item of account is unlawful you can write to the external auditor stating you want to make an objection, with a copy to the Council. This must include the reason and evidence for the objection. The external auditor must then reach a decision on your objection and will usually write to you to with the outcome. Finally, if you are not happy with the decision you can appeal but will have to take the matter to court yourself.
 
You can also object if you think that there is an issue in the accounts where there is wider public interest. The auditor will then decide whether to take any action. The auditor will normally, but does not have to give reasons for their decision and you cannot appeal to the courts.
 
There are a number of restrictions on information disclosure and the right to object to the accounts:
You cannot inspect or copy documents that contain personal information about staff.
 
You may also not be able to inspect information which is protected by commercial confidentiality.
A Council officer or an auditor cannot give you personal information about anyone when they answer your questions.
 
The right to ask the external auditor questions is limited. Questions about the accounts can be asked, but you cannot ask questions about Council policy, finances, procedures or anything else that is not about the accounts.
 
Your questions should be about facts, not opinions. You should not ask an auditor if they think something the Council has done, or an item in the accounts, is lawful or reasonable.
 
You cannot use the objection process to make a personal complaint or claim against the Council.
The statement of accounts is the formal financial report on the activities of the Council, as required by the Accounts and Audit regulations.
 
The deadline for publication of the draft accounts for each financial year is 31 May and Ernst & Young LLP, the Council's independently appointed external auditor, is responsible for auditing the accounts by 31 July in accordance with these regulations. 
 
The statement of accounts is the formal financial report on the activities of the council, as required by the accounts and audit regulations.

The deadline for publication of the draft accounts for each financial year is 31 May and Ernst & Young LLP, the council's independently appointed external auditor, is responsible for auditing the accounts by 31 July in accordance with these regulations. The accounts are available to download in PDF format. 
Notice of appointment of a Local Auditor to Northumberland County Council from 2018/19 Under Section 8(2) of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, this Authority must publish a notice relating to the appointment of its Local Auditor.

Notice of appointment of a Local Auditor to Northumberland County Council from 2018/19
Under Section 8(2) of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014, this Authority must publish a notice relating to the appointment of its Local Auditor.

On 21 July 2017 Northumberland County Council made an appointment of a Local Auditor, as part of a collaborative procurement with Newcastle City Council and North Tyneside Council. The Local Auditor appointed is Ernst and Young, and the period of their appointment is from 1 April 2018 until 31 March 2023.
The independent Auditor Panel convened to advise Northumberland County Council on the selection and appointment of Local Auditor recommended the appointment of Ernst and Young for this period. The report of the independent Auditor Panel was considered at a meeting of full Council on 5 July 2017 and can be viewed here http://committeedocs.northumberland.gov.uk/MeetingDocs/29032_M7720.pdf
Council’s decision at that meeting was to follow the advice of the independent Auditor Panel, and to endorse the Auditor Panel’s recommendation that Ernst and Young be appointed as Local Auditor for the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2023.