Gosford audit report delayed until March
The audit report into the finances of the former Gosford Council will not be placed in the public domain until March, three months after it was due.
"Central Coast Council has agreed with auditors Price Waterhouse Coopers to extend the timeframe required to finalise the audit report into the finances of the former Gosford Council," Central Coast Council chief Mr Rob Noble said.
"As soon as the report is ready, Council will call an Extraordinary Meeting, if necessary, in March to be held in the Gosford Chambers," Mr Noble said.
He said the auditors were in the process of finalising their audit testing and Council was working closely with them to ensure the final accounts were transparent and understandable by the community.
The proclamation that dissolved Gosford Council and created the Central Coast Council stated: "A new Council is to prepare audited financial reports for the former councils, in respect of the period from July 1, 2015, to the amalgamation day, on or before December 31, 2016."
When Council announced last December that the audit report for Gosford Council was delayed, it stated that the reason was that the auditors were not familiar with the systems used by the former Gosford Council.
More specific reasons have not been given for the ongoing delay.
"As with many issues in respect of Council mergers, the alignment of Council financial management is a complex issue, so we want to ensure the community gets a clear view," Mr Noble said.
"We're here to deliver the best possible services to our growing community, and having a thorough and consistent understanding of financial management across both former Council areas moving forward is essential.
"Council accounts are governed by a strict Local Government Code of Accounting Practice and Financial Reporting, and by legally-binding accounting standards," he said.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Mr Scot MacDonald, has said he would refer any anomalies in the audit report to the Office of Local Government and request a second audit to iron out any issues.
Media release, 15 Feb 2017
Rob Noble, Central Coast Council