Moore Stephens' audit of SG purchase ledger invoices: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/17/02954
Date received: 5 December 2017
Date responded: 15 December 2017

Information requested

In regards to Moore Stephens' promotional literature showing the Scottish Government as a client for "Spend Analysis and Recovery Services", you asked:

  1. In total how many purchase ledger invoices (volumes) including transactions with all other government bodies, the Scottish Government processes annually (approximately)

  2. How many "years" of data did Moore Stephens investigate

  3. How much was recovered (in total)

  4. How many transactions (volumes) were identified as potential error payments (in total)

  5. How many transactions (volumes) were actually recovered (in total)

  6. What date their work went up to

  7. What fees were paid to Moore Stephens for this service

  8. When the next audit is expected to take place


Taking each of your questions in turn;

1. In the last financial year (2016/17) the Scottish Government processed approximately 64,000 purchase ledger invoices which included transactions with other Government bodies, this is a typical annual figure.

2. Moore Stephens investigated the financial years 2010/11 to 2012/13.

3. The total amount recovered was £45,378.35.

4. 165 transactions were identified as potential errors.

5. Of the 165 potential transactions 96 were found not to be errors, 36 were recovered by the Scottish Government, 12 were recovered by Moore Stephens and 21 were deemed unrecoverable.

6. Moore Stephens' work on this audit was completed on 27th February 2017.

7. An exemption under section 33(1)(b) of FOISA (commercial interests) applies to this information. This exemption applies because disclosure of this particularinformation would, or would be likely to, prejudice substantially the commercial interests of Moore Stephens. This exemption is subject to the 'public interest test'. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption.

8. There are no plans to undertake a further audit of this type at this time, the Scottish Government participates biannually in the National Fraud Initiative run by Audit Scotland of which the next exercise is due in 2018.

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Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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