Annual report and accounts 2019/20

Directors' report

The directors present their report and the audited financial statements of the company for the year ended 31 March 2020.

Directors

For the year from 1 April 2019 the PSAA Board’s composition was as set out in the table below:

Board members Position Period of office
Steve Freer Chairman Member since 1 October 2014
Caroline Gardner Non-executive director Member since 1 December 2014
Clive Grace Non-executive director Member since 1 December 2014
Stephen Sellers Non-executive director Member since 1 December 2014
Keith House Non-executive director Member since 1 December 2017

There were no resignations of directors during the financial year, and there have been no changes since the end of the financial year.

More information on the PSAA Board and individual directors is available on the PSAA website.

Register of interests

Board members are required to notify and register any issues on which they might have a conflict of interest. Declarations of interest are also invited at each Board meeting. A register of members’ interests is maintained and is available on the PSAA website.

Statement of directors’ responsibilities

The directors are responsible for preparing the Strategic Report, Directors’ Report and the financial statements in accordance with applicable law and regulations.

Company law requires the directors to prepare financial statements for each financial year. Under that law, the directors have elected to prepare the financial statements in accordance with applicable law and United Kingdom Accounting Standards (United Kingdom Generally Accepted Accounting Practice), including Financial Reporting Standard 102 The Financial Reporting Standard Applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland (FRS 102).

Under company law the directors must not approve the financial statements unless they are satisfied that they give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the company and of the profit or loss of the company for that period. In preparing those financial statements, the directors are required to:

  • select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently;
  • make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and prudent;
  • state whether applicable United Kingdom Accounting Standards have been followed, including FRS 102, subject to any material departures disclosed in the financial statements; and
  • prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the company will continue in business.

The directors are responsible for keeping adequate accounting records that are sufficient to show and explain the company’s transactions and disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the company and enable them to ensure that the financial statements comply with the Companies Act 2006. They are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the company and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities.

Future developments

Future developments for the company are covered in the Strategic Report.

Going concern

In June 2016 PSAA was specified by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government as an appointing person for relevant principal local government bodies under the provisions of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. This extends the responsibilities of the company beyond the transitional arrangements for which the company was responsible at its inception. The appointing person responsibilities will last until at least 2023, when the current appointing period ends. It is appropriate to prepare PSAA’s accounts on a going concern basis.

COVID-19 – As part of PSAA’s going concern assessment we considered potential uncertainties that may exist in our future cashflow because local authorities’ finances are expected to be under significant pressure over the next 12 months due to the loss of income and additional spend in response to COVID-19. We are of the view that our short-term investments are adequate to cover any impact on our own cash flow over this period.

A number of local authorities have also referred publicly to the possibility of issuing section 114 notices. The Section 151 officer must make a report to the authority “if it appears to him that the expenditure of the authority incurred (including expenditure it proposes to incur) in a financial year is likely to exceed the resources (including sums borrowed) available to it to meet that expenditure.” The effect of such a notice is to prevent the authority from entering into “any new agreement which may involve the incurring of expenditure (at any time) by the authority” until the authority have considered the report and decided what action to take. Audit fees are a statutory debt payable under the Local Audit (Appointing Person) Regulations 2015 and are not affected by this temporary prohibition.

The directors have considered the potential risks and uncertainties arising from the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union in January 2020, and subsequent actions taken by the Government, and concluded this matter is unlikely to give rise to solvency, liquidity or other risks that may threaten the long-term viability of the company or its future performance.

Subsequent events

We have considered the ongoing impact of COVID-19. Whilst we have included a statement on this unprecedented world-wide event, we note that this has no material impact on the accounting period ending 31 March 2020. At present we are unable to assess the value or financial impact of this event. Analysis and scenario planning for the potential risks to future financial plans and cashflow will be developed and considered.

There have been no other events affecting the company or the information provided in this annual report and accounts since the year end.

Disclosure of information to auditors

For each of the directors at the time this report was approved, the following applies:

  • as far as the directors are aware, there is no relevant audit information of which the company’s auditor is unaware; and
  • the directors have taken all steps they ought to have taken as directors to make themselves aware of any relevant audit information and to establish that the company’s auditor is aware of that information.
Independent auditors

The auditors, UHY Hacker Young, have been re-appointed following a competitive process in autumn 2018.  A resolution concerning their appointment for three years was approved by the Board in January 2019.

By order of the Board

Steve Freer

Chairman

20 July 2020

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