NHS Tayside financial governance arrangements: independent review

An independent review by Grant Thornton UK LLP on agreed areas of NHS Tayside financial governance arrangements between the financial years 2012/13 – 2017/18.

Appendix 4: Roles and responsibilities

Set out below, for additional context to the reader, is an explanation of the roles/remits set out in this report:



Accountable Officer

Under Section 15 of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act, 2000, the Principal

Accountable Officer ( PAO) of the Scottish Government appoints the Accountable Officer of Tayside Health Board. The accountable officer is responsible for:

  • the propriety and regularity of financial transactions under their control;
  • for the economical, efficient and effective use of resources placed at the Board's disposal; and
  • Safeguarding the assets of the Board.

Board responsibilities

The role of the Board and its members (Senior Management and Non-Executive members) is to provide strategic leadership, direction, support and guidance for the organisation and promote commitment to its core values, policies and objectives.

Endowment Fund Trustees

Trustees of the Endowment Fund have specific responsibilities in relation to their role as trustees of the fund. In particular, Trustees are required to act in accordance with the Trust deed of the Endowment fund and within the framework of charity law

Endowment Fund External Auditors

The External Auditors of the Fund are appointed by the Trustees. The appointment process is independent of Audit Scotland and the auditors work does not fall under the remit of Auditor General for Scotland.

The appointed auditors of the fund are MMG Archbold CA. The auditor is appointed under section 44(1) (c) of the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 and is responsible for the audit and to express an opinion on the financial statements.

NHS Tayside Board External Auditors

The external auditors' responsibilities in relation to the audit of the financial statements and relevant sections of the Remuneration report of NHS Tayside are to give an opinion on:

  • whether they give a true and fair view of the financial position of the Board and its expenditure and income for the period in question;
  • whether they were prepared properly in accordance with relevant legislation, applicable accounting standards and other reporting requirements;
  • whether the information which comprises the annual report included with the financial statements is consistent with the financial statements; and
  • Whether expenditure and receipts have been incurred and applied in accordance with guidance from Scottish Ministers (the regularity opinion).

External Audit work is undertaken in accordance with International Standards of Auditing ( ISA's).

In accordance with Audit Scotland's Code of Audit Practice (relevant versions are dated 2011 and 2016) require auditors' responsibilities to extend beyond that of the audit of the financial statements. Auditors are required to consider and report on health board's use of resources, financial management, financial sustainability and transparency and governance arrangements.

Internal Audit

As set out in the Scottish Government On Board publication:

Internal Audit is an internal appraisal service, established by the management of an organisation, which reviews the internal control system. It should objectively examine, evaluate and report on the adequacy of internal control as a contribution to the proper, economic, efficient and effective use of resources.

To achieve full effectiveness, the scope of the internal audit service should provide an unrestricted range of coverage of the organisation's operations.

The internal auditors should have sufficient authority to allow them access to such assets, records and personnel as are necessary for the proper fulfilment of their responsibilities and report to the Board where they feel it is necessary.

Internal audit are independent of management and their work is undertaken and complies with Public Sector Internal Audit Standards. Their plans are risk based and focused on controls and processes rather than individual financial transactions.

Our review covered the period 2012/13 to 2017/18 and over this time different individuals were in post, and this is noted below for information:

Accountable Officer was Lesley McLay from December 2013 onwards The Chairman was Sandy Watson, OBE up until 2015

From 2015 onwards the Chairman was Professor John Connell

The Director of Finance up until 2015 was Iain McDonald and after that Lindsey Bedford the Assistant Director of Finance up until 2015 was David Carson


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