(1) A council's financial reports for a year must be prepared and audited within the period of 4 months after the end of that year.
(2) A council may from time to time apply to the Departmental Chief Executive for an extension of that period.
(3) A council must make such an application if requested to do so by its auditor.
(4) Before deciding whether or not to grant an extension, the Departmental Chief Executive may require the council to give reasons, additional to those set out in the application, as to why the extension should be granted.
(5) The Departmental Chief Executive may grant an extension of such period as, in the opinion of the Departmental Chief Executive, is necessary in the particular circumstances of the case.
(6) A council must notify its auditor of any application for an extension made under this section and of the outcome of the application.