Update: Publication of Part 2 documents


Tuesday, 26 March, 2024

On Friday 19 January 2024, we issued a statement in relation to the publication of Part 2 documents dating back to 2016 and provided an update from our auditor, Grant Thornton UK LLP, in relation to the independent Value for Money review we had asked them to undertake.

The independent Value for Money review considers our previous governance arrangements and processes for making effective decisions in relation to past investments, how risks were assessed and managed; and how these decisions were scrutinised.

It is important that we understand the decisions and actions of the past that have significantly contributed to the financial challenges we face today.

At the time of our previous statement it was anticipated that Grant Thornton would have finalised their report ahead of public publication in March 2024. However, Grant Thornton has informed us that it will now likely be summer 2024 before the report can be finalised and made public.

Joanne Brown, Lead Engagement Partner (for the 2023-24 financial year), Grant Thornton UK LLP, said: “We continue to go through the necessary steps to finalise the report relating to our VfM governance review.

"Due to the nature of our reporting, we need to undertake various consultations with interested parties before the report can be finalised and published, in line with our obligations under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014.

"This is taking longer than originally envisaged. The report will be made public when it has been finalised, which is now likely to be in the summer. We appreciate that this may be frustrating for residents of Woking, the Council and other stakeholders who are keen to see the report’s findings, but the approach we are following is both important and necessary.

"We support the council’s approach to improve transparency on decision making, including publishing historic Part 2 documents, and that the timing of their publication should align to the publication of our VfM governance review report.”

Whilst the council is disappointed that the finalisation of the report is taking longer than originally envisaged, we recognise the obligations that Grant Thornton has under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 and the necessary level of due diligence and consultation required.

We remain committed to making the Value for Money review report and Part 2 documents publicly available on our website at the earliest opportunity, which is likely to be summer 2024.