Accounts for the year 2019-2020
Due to COVID-19, the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has been engaging with government around local council audit time frames for audit for the year 2019-2020. Final regulations were published on 7 April 2020 and will come into force on 30 April 2020. These extend the statutory audit deadlines for 2019/20.
Statutory dates that have been amended are:
- The publication date for final, audited, accounts for local councils will move from 30 September to 30 November 2020
- To give local councils more flexibility, the requirement for the public inspection period to include the first 10 working days of July has been removed. Instead, local councils must commence the public inspection period on or before the first working day of September 2020
This means that draft accounts, for the year ending 31 March 2020, must be approved by 31 August 2020 at the latest or maybe approved earlier where possible.
Authorities must publish the dates of their public inspection period this year, and the government recommends that they provide public notice on their websites (where available) when the public inspection period would usually commence, explaining why they are departing from normal practice for 2020.
Under the amended legislation, there is no change to the requirement for all smaller authorities to complete and approve an Annual Return, now known as the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR), and to provide for public rights.
In accordance with The Accounts and Audit (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 the accounting records for the financial year ending 31 March 2020, (which includes all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other documents relating to those records) will be made available for inspection by any person interested, during a period of 30 working days set by the smaller authority and will include the first 10 working days of September 2020. As stated above, to give local councils more flexibility, the requirement for the public inspection period to include the first 10 working days of July has been removed. Instead, local councils must commence the public inspection period on or before the first working day of September 2020. The period set by the Responsible Financial Officer for inspection for the year ending 31 March 2020 will cover the period 4 August to 14 September 2020 inclusive.
In accordance with the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015, the Local Audit (Smaller Authorities) Regulations 2015 and the Local Government Transparency Code 2015 there is a requirement to publish a number of documents on a public website - all of which are available to download direct from this website:
For the Accounts relating to 2019 -2020, please view the relevant documents as listed below: