Effective financial management, governance and transparency have been highlighted by an external audit of East Lothian Council’s 2018/19 financial performance.
In a report presented to a recent meeting of the council’s Audit and Governance Committee, Audit Scotland confirmed that the local authority’s group financial statements gave a true and fair view and were properly prepared.
It said that the council’s budget process is focused on the council’s priorities, with effective internal controls, good governance arrangements and a five-year financial strategy that is aligned to the council’s priorities.
It acknowledged that, while the council’s financial position is sustainable in the foreseeable future, rising demand for services will place a strain on its capacity to deliver services at current levels.
The council’s business is conducted in an open and transparent way, the report adds.
Council Leader Willie Innes said:
“This is a particularly strong endorsement from Audit Scotland of the council’s annual accounts and overall financial management.
“It builds on the very positive findings of last year’s Best Value report which highlighted that we are a high-performing council.
“While the last few years have been extremely challenging financially for all local authorities, we welcome the fact that the auditors have found our internal processes to be appropriate and effective. I also welcome the finding that our business is conducted in an open and transparent manner, while good governance arrangements are in place.
“This validation of our approach is particularly welcome at a time when the council is delivering on its plans to meet the future needs of communities in one of Scotland’s fastest growing council areas, with investment in improved infrastructure including through our capital programme including new schools, and new and improved council housing.
“This gives us a very strong basis on which to move forward as we maintain our focus on our priorities whilst delivering high-quality essential services in a growing county, and working to reduce inequalities in our communities.”