West Lindsey getting better at managing public finances

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Independent auditors have praised West Lindsey District Council over how it manages its finances.

Accountants KPMG has carried out an audit of its financial accounts for 2013/14 and said the council gives “unqualified value for money.”

“This means that we are satisfied that you have proper arrangements for securing financial resilience and challenging how you secure economy, efficiency and effectiveness,” said a report presented to councillors last week.

KPMG also said it believed “the financial statements give a true and fair view of the financial position of the Authority and of its expenditure and income for the year.”

However, the document also noted that in the previous year, 2012-13, KPMG reported “significant weaknesses in the Authoprity’s governance arrangements, specifically in relation to investment decisions and the need to balance good governance with its commercial strategy.”

But for this year, KPMG assessed the district council’s investment in broadband and used this to test WLDC’s governance process and project managemement arrangements.

“We found the arrangements to be satisfactory. The Authority now needs to ensure that the revised framework is embedded in an appropriate way for future project appraisal and management,” it said.

WLDC Governance and Audit Committee chairman Coun Giles McNeill is pleased the council has “independent confirmation that we are managing our finances well”.

An internal audit of its planning department is underway,“checking that we are providing the right services the right way,” he said.