The report and appendix document from the External Auditor (Informing the Audit Risk Assessment for Warwickshire Pension Fund 2020/21) are attached.
John Gregory (Grant Thornton) introduced the item, advising a view was sought in respect of the responses to a series of questions received from the management of Warwickshire Pension Fund in order to highlight any issues which were not consistent with the Committee’s knowledge and understanding.
The Chair reiterated his assertion that ‘primary responsibility’ to identify fraud rested with the Pension Fund’s management, rather than the Audit and Standards Committee.
In response to the Chair, Chris Norton (Strategy and Commissioning Manager, Treasury, Pension, Audit & Risk) advised that Warwickshire Pension Fund encompassed approximately 200 organisations. He stated that a potentially fraud-related issue had been detected within an employer organisation. This was being investigated. The outcome of the investigation would be closely monitored, and the issue had been highlighted to Internal Audit, Legal Services, and this Committee.
The Chair highlighted the actuarial challenges faced by pension funds in the wake of coronavirus. He stated that there was speculation that the Pandemic could lead to a long-term impact on lifetime expectations which would have a significant bearing on pension fund liabilities. This was being examined by Warwickshire Pension Fund.
That the Committee:
a) Notes the Audit Risk Assessment for 2020/21, attached at appendix A of the report; and
b) Consents to the delegation of authority to the Strategic Director for Resources to sign-off an updated risk assessment prior to the publication of draft accounts (requesting that the updated version be reported to the Audit and Standards Committee).