Date received: 5 November 2018
Date responded: 29 November 2018
Your request referred to a statement made by Audit Scotland “Reporting of government accounts should be 'more transparent'” dated 27 September 2018, and you provided the following link: http://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/news/reporting-of-government-accounts-should-be-more-transparent
You asked us to provide the Scottish Minister’s Action Plan prepared in response to the report from the Auditor General specifically relating to the matters raised in the statement dated 27 September 2018 referred to above.
The statement to which you refer is the Press Release accompanying the publication of the Scottish Government Consolidated Accounts, and the associated Audit Scotland Report, known as the section 22 report. The main report to which the Press Release refers can be found at : http://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/report/the-201718-audit-of-the-scottish-government-consolidated-accounts
As explained in the Foreword to the Accounts, it is important to note that these accounts are not a Ministerial document: it is the Principal Accountable Officer's responsibility to produce accounts, and a primary purpose of these accounts is to report on the stewardship of the sums authorised. As the SG Consolidated Accounts is an ‘official’ document rather than a ministerial one, there is not a ‘Scottish Minister’s Action Plan’ in response to the section 22 report.
This is therefore a formal notice under section 17(1) of FOISA that the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested.To provide some more background to the current arrangements for Financial Reporting by the Scottish Government, it may be helpful to draw your attention to the additional reporting by the Auditor General following the annual audit process. An Annual Audit Report is prepared and published to report in more detail on the findings during the audit, and includes comment on management response. The report for 2017/18 has yet to be published, but will be available on the Audit Scotland website in due course.
Public Audit and Post-Legislative Scrutiny Committee (PAPLS) of the Scottish Parliament have a role in the scrutiny of the accounts and associated reports from Audit Scotland, and therefore it may be helpful to refer to their committee papers, where further ongoing discussions around the Scottish Government commitment to continuing the work around Developing Financial Reporting are held: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/public-audit-committee.aspx
The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
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