Report of the Auditor General for Scotland to the Scottish Parliament
I have audited the financial statements of the Scottish Government Consolidated Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2016 under the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000. The financial statements comprise: the Summary of Resource Outturn Statement, the Summary of Capital Outturn Statement, the Summary of Total Outturn Statement, the eleven Portfolio Outturn Statements, the Analysis of Capital Expenditure and Associated Receipts, the Analysis of Major Variances in the Portfolio Outturn Statements, the Consolidated Statement of Financial Position, the Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Net Expenditure and Changes in Taxpayers' Equity, the Consolidated Statement of Cash Flows and the related notes. The financial reporting framework that has been applied in their preparation is applicable law and International Financial Reporting Standards ( IFRSs) as adopted by the European Union, and as interpreted and adapted by the 2015/16 Government Financial Reporting Manual (the 2015/16 FReM).
This report is made solely to the parties to whom it is addressed in accordance with the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 and for no other purpose. In accordance with paragraph 125 of the Code of Audit Practice, I do not undertake to have responsibilities to members or officers, in their individual capacities, or to third parties.
Respective responsibilities of Principal Accountable Officer and auditor
As explained more fully in the Statement of Accountable Officer's Responsibilities, the Principal Accountable Officer is responsible for the preparation of the financial statements and for being satisfied that they give a true and fair view, and is also responsible for ensuring the regularity of expenditure and income. My responsibility is to audit and express an opinion on the financial statements in accordance with applicable law and International Standards on Auditing ( UK and Ireland) as required by the Code of Audit Practice. Those standards require me to comply with the Auditing Practices Board's Ethical Standards for Auditors. I am also responsible for giving an opinion on the regularity of expenditure and income in accordance with the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000.
Scope of the audit of the financial statements
An audit involves obtaining evidence about the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements sufficient to give reasonable assurance that the financial statements are free from material misstatement, whether caused by fraud or error. This includes an assessment of: whether the accounting policies are appropriate to the circumstances of the Scottish Government and its consolidated entities and have been consistently applied and adequately disclosed; the reasonableness of significant accounting estimates made by the Principal Accountable Officer; and the overall presentation of the financial statements. It also involves obtaining evidence about the regularity of expenditure and income. In addition, I read all the financial and non-financial information in the consolidated accounts to identify material inconsistencies with the audited financial statements and to identify any information that is apparently materially incorrect based on, or materially inconsistent with, the knowledge acquired by me in the course of performing the audit. If I become aware of any apparent material misstatements, irregularities, or inconsistencies I consider the implications for my report.
Opinion on financial statements
In my opinion the financial statements:
- give a true and fair view in accordance with the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 and directions made thereunder by the Scottish Ministers of the state of affairs of the Scottish Government and the consolidation of the entities within the departmental accounting boundary as at 31 March 2016 and the total outturn for the year then ended;
- have been properly prepared in accordance with IFRSs as adopted by the European Union, as interpreted and adapted by the 2015/16 FReM; and
- have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 and directions made thereunder by the Scottish Ministers.
Opinion on regularity
In my opinion in all material respects:
- the expenditure and income in the financial statements were incurred or applied in accordance with any applicable enactments and guidance issued by the Scottish Ministers, the Budget (Scotland) Act covering the financial year and sections 4 to 7 of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000; and
- the sums paid out of the Scottish Consolidated Fund for the purpose of meeting the expenditure shown in the financial statements were applied in accordance with section 65 of the Scotland Act 1998.
Opinion on other prescribed matters
In my opinion:
- the part of the Remuneration and Staff Report to be audited has been properly prepared in accordance with the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 and directions made thereunder by the Scottish Ministers; and
- the information given in the Performance Report for the financial year for which the financial statements are prepared is consistent with the financial statements.
Matters on which I am required to report by exception
I am required to report to you if, in my opinion:
- adequate accounting records have not been kept; or
- the financial statements and the part of the Remuneration and Staff Report to be audited are not in agreement with the accounting records; or
- I have not received all the information and explanations I require for my audit; or
- the Governance Statement does not comply with guidance from the Scottish Ministers.
I have nothing to report in respect of these matters.Caroline Gardner CPFA
Auditor General for Scotland
102 West Port
23 September 2016