City of Wanneroo moves to cover assets ‘oversight’

City of Wanneroo.
City of Wanneroo.

THE City of Wanneroo claims its failure to comply with an audit report was an “oversight”.

A June 2018 independent auditor’s report found the City did not have enough assets compared to liabilities for three years and had to fix and disclose the issue.

Under state law, the City needed to file a report on the issues with the local government minister within three months.

However, it had not complied after a year, prompting a query from the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.

The audit report found the current ratio was less than 1:1, which meant the City did not have enough assets that could be turned quickly into cash in case of emergencies, such as budget deficits or overdrafts.

A council report said the City had managed paying commitments to creditors and staff without delays.

It said the City’s cash holdings had improved steadily from $316.9 million in 2014-15 to $363.5 million in 2017-18.

“The City has the ability to transfer funds from a number of restricted reserves to unrestricted cash holdings should the need arise to meet cash shortfalls,” it said.

The report said controls and training had been provided to relevant staff to ensure better management of future compliance reporting requirements.

The council noted the breach at its August 27 meeting without discussion.

Councillors also agreed the chief executive should write to the minister with reasons for deficiencies when it submitted its report and publish the report on the City’s website within 14 days of that being submitted.

Find more council decisions here.