Independent auditor’s report to the members of Lancashire Combined Fire
Authority

In our auditor’s report issued on 30 September 2021, we explained that we could not formally conclude the audit and issue an audit certificate for Lancashire Combined Fire Authority for the year ended 31 March 2021 in accordance with the requirements of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 and the Code of Audit Practice, until we had:

  • Completed the work necessary to issue our Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) Component
    Assurance statement for the year ended 31 March 2021. We have now completed this work, and the
    results of our work are set out below.
  • Completed the work necessary to issue our Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) Component.

Assurance statement for the year ended 31 March 2021. We have now completed this work.

Opinion on the financial statements

In our auditor’s report for the year ended 31 March 2021 issued on 30 September 2021 we reported
that, in our opinion the financial statements:

  • give a true and fair view of the financial position of the Authority as at 31 March 2021 and of its expenditure and income for the year then ended;
  • have been properly prepared in accordance with the CIPFA/LASAAC code of practice on local authority accounting in the United Kingdom 2020/21; and
  • have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.

No matters have come to our attention since that date that would have a material impact on the financial statements on which we gave this opinion.

Report on other legal and regulatory requirements – the Authority’s arrangements for securing economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources

Under the Code of Audit Practice, we are required to report to you if, in our opinion, we have not been able to satisfy ourselves that the Authority has made proper arrangements for securing economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources for the year ended 31 March 2021.

We have nothing to report in respect of the above matter.

Responsibilities of the Authority

The Authority is responsible for putting in place proper arrangements for securing economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources, to ensure proper stewardship and governance, and to review regularly the adequacy and effectiveness of these arrangements.

Auditor’s responsibilities for the review of the Authority’s arrangements for securing economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources

We are required under Section 20(1)(c) of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 to be satisfied that the Authority has made proper arrangements for securing economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources. We are not required to consider, nor have we considered, whether all aspects of the Authority’s arrangements for securing economy, efficiency and effectiveness in its use of resources are operating effectively.

We undertake our review in accordance with the Code of Audit Practice, having regard to the guidance issued by the Comptroller and Auditor General in April 2021. This guidance sets out the arrangements that fall within the scope of ‘proper arrangements’. When reporting on these arrangements, the Code of Audit Practice requires auditors to structure their commentary on arrangements under three specified reporting criteria:

  • Financial sustainability: how the Authority plans and manages its resources to ensure it can continue
    to deliver its services;
  • Governance: how the Authority ensures that it makes informed decisions and properly manages its
    risks; and
  • Improving economy, efficiency and effectiveness: how the Authority uses information about its costs and performance to improve the way it manages and delivers its services.

We document our understanding of the arrangements the Authority has in place for each of these three specified reporting criteria, gathering sufficient evidence to support our risk assessment and commentary in our Auditor’s Annual Report. In undertaking our work, we consider whether there is evidence to suggest that there are significant weaknesses in arrangements.

Report on other legal and regulatory requirements – Audit certificate

We certify that we have completed the audit of Lancashire Combined Fire Authority for the year ended 31 March 2021 in accordance with the requirements of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 and the Code of Audit Practice.

Use of our report

This report is made solely to the members of the Authority, as a body, in accordance with Part 5 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 and as set out in paragraph 43 of the Statement of Responsibilities of Auditors and Audited Bodies published by Public Sector Audit Appointments Limited. Our audit work has been undertaken so that we might state to the Authority’s members those matters we are required to state to them in an auditor’s report and for no other purpose. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the Authority and the Authority’s members as a body, for our audit work, for this report, or for the opinions we have formed.

 

Andrew J Smith, Key Audit Partner
for and on behalf of Grant Thornton UK LLP, Local Auditor
Manchester
20 October 2022