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Hull slammed by auditor

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Hull City Council annual accounts are littered with errors, its auditor has revealed

According to the Yorkshire Post, district auditor, Mark Kirkham, said it was “highly unusual” to be unable to properly access the accounts, although the irregularities would not affect the council’s budget or spending.

He added: “Matters highlighted in this report indicate that the council’s arrangements for producing its final accounts are not adequate.

“I expect far higher standards of a council of the status and magnitude of Hull. The statement of accounts should be a fair reflection of income and expenditure, but its officers haven’t been able to provide me with the information to come to that conclusion. The information isn’t good enough.”     

The report said “there are a number of fundamental unresolved issues in respect of the entries for fixed assets in your accounts”.

Staff were also criticised for their “lack of responsiveness to queries and information” required by the auditor who said he had increased the fees as a result of the protracted period over which he had been able to carry out the audit.

The Interim Governance Report said: “A number of amendments have been agreed to ensure statement of recommended practice (SORP) compliance. The quality assurance arrangements did not pick up these issues.

“This is an area of major concern given assets to the value of £184m have not been valued in the last 5 years as required by SORP.”

A Hull spokewoman said these were technical issues which had no impact on council tax payers.

She added: “These were technical accounting matters within an interim report which have been dealt with, and the final report is due out next month.  There is nothing within this provisional report which affects the council’s financial health - so there is no impact on council tax payers.”

Read the full report here

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