The Government has asked us to draw members’ attention to a letter to all Local Authority Chief Executives in England regarding the already-announced extension to audit deadlines for 2020. The letter can be found by clicking here.
Parish and town councils are ‘Category 2’ authorities. Note the recommendation that councils should provide information on the revised publication dates and inspection period on their website in case members of the public are expecting publication by 30 June. Note also that as the letter says councils can approve and publish draft accounts, and start the inspection period, at any time. Sections 1 and 2 of the AGAR must be approved at a duly convened Full Council meeting (with public notice given), which at present will be held remotely (with opportunity for the public to observe remotely). ‘Approval’ by email is not lawful. Note also that the external auditors continue to consider that ‘wet’ signatures are required on the AGAR.