THERE are more delays in finalising a council’s accounts after a crunch meeting to discuss the problems was cancelled.

A special meeting of Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council’s Governance and Audit committee was due to take place on Monday, September 4, to consider the council’s accounts for 2021/2022.

The accounts have still not been signed off due to problems found by auditors.

But now it has been confirmed the meeting has been scrapped, with Blaenau Gwent council saying the Audit Wales report on the 2021/22 accounts was not available for lay members and councillors to read.

A spokesperson for Audit Wales said: “The meeting has been cancelled, this was due to a short delay in finalising our report and we anticipate issuing it in the next few weeks.”

Alongside the accounts, the committee need to look at and discuss an Audit Wales ISA 260 report – this would detail all the issues that cropped up in the process.

At a meeting on July 12 the committee were advised by the council’s finance chief, Rhian Hayden to “wait and see” the ISA 260 report before signing off the accounts.

Also at the meeting, Mike Jones of Audit Wales told the committee that the process had been delayed as they had struggled to find a suitable member of staff to double check auditor’s work.

When Audit Wales issue a “modified opinion” on accounts they look to have a director who is not connected with the audit to check whether their conclusions are “reasonable.”

The council’s draft statement of accounts was first reported to the committee in November 2022.

The main reason for delay is related to the significant issue identified by Audit Wales in their report on the audit of accounts going back to 2020/2021.

This explained the need to correct the errors identified in the council’s fixed asset register and historic cost records that resulted in misstatement of the capital adjustment account and revaluation reserve.

A number of adjustments have been identified and these need to be reported to the committee first before approval of the final accounts.

A problem identified by Audit Wales is that the council failed in the past to regularly review the Estimated Useful Life (EUL) of assets.