Updated 8.00pm see below:
On 6 September the Audit Committee is due to meet. Amongst other things on the agenda is the External Auditors Annual Audit Report along with a formal document known as an ISA 260 report. It also deals with the annual governance statement. Public have the right to submit questions in advance to the committee but you can only ask about items on the agenda.
Barnet council published the meeting papers but carefully omitted these three key reports. So I know that the annual audit report will be discussed but I haven’t got a clue what is in it. Now here comes the catch. On checking with the Council this morning I was told that the deadline for submitting public questions to the Audit Committee is 10.00am tomorrow Thursday 1 September. At 3.54 pm on Wednesday 31 August these papers were published. So I have between now and 10.00am tomorrow morning to read 162 pages and to frame suitable questions.
Is this the way to encourage public participation? NO
Is this the way to stimulate openness and transparency? NO
This is nothing short of a disgrace.
Update: This evening I had a very courteous email from Barnet Council stating the deadline is in fact Friday at 10.00am, not Thursday as I had previously been told and that if I required additional time to review the papers to let them know. I will ensure that my questions to the committee are detailed and probing!