Publication - Corporate report

Scottish Government consolidated accounts: annual report 2019 to 2020

Published: 17 Dec 2020

Annual report of the consolidated financial results of the Scottish Government, its Executive Agencies and the Crown Office, prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The Audit Scotland report on the accounts is also linked and is unqualified.

146 page PDF

3.9 MB

146 page PDF

3.9 MB

Contents
Scottish Government consolidated accounts: annual report 2019 to 2020
Report of the Auditor General for Scotland to the Scottish Parliament

146 page PDF

3.9 MB

Report of the Auditor General for Scotland to the Scottish Parliament

Report on the audit of the financial statements

Opinion on financial statements

I have audited the financial statements in the Scottish Government Consolidated Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2020 under the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000. The financial statements comprise the Summary of Total Outturn Statement, the Summary of Resource Outturn Statement, the Summary of Capital Outturn Statement, the twelve Portfolio Outturn Statements, the Consolidated Statement of Financial Position, the Statement of Comprehensive Net Expenditure and Changes in Taxpayer’s Equity, the Cash Flow Statement, and notes to the financial statements, including a summary of significant accounting policies. 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 2019/20 Government Financial Reporting Manual (the 2019/20 FReM).

In my opinion the accompanying 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 2020 and of the net resource outturn and resources applied to objectives 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 2019/20 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.

Basis for opinion

I conducted my audit in accordance with applicable law and International Standards on Auditing (UK) (ISAs (UK)). My responsibilities under those standards are further described in the auditor’s responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements section of my report. I am independent of the Scottish Government in accordance with the ethical requirements that are relevant to my audit of the financial statements in the UK including the Financial Reporting Council’s Ethical Standard, and I have fulfilled my other ethical responsibilities in accordance with these requirements. Non-audit services prohibited by the Ethical Standard were not provided. I believe that the audit evidence I have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for my opinion.

Emphasis of matter – property valuations

I draw attention to Note 1.2 Critical accounting judgments and key sources of estimation in the Statement of Accounting Policies which describes the effects of material uncertainty on property valuations, caused by Covid-19, as declared in the valuation report for land and buildings. My opinion is not modified in respect of this matter.

Conclusions relating to going concern basis of accounting

I have nothing to report in respect of the following matters in relation to which the ISAs (UK) require me to report to you where:

  • the use of the going concern basis of accounting in the preparation of the financial statements is not appropriate; or
  • the Scottish Government has not disclosed in the financial statements any identified material uncertainties that may cast significant doubt about its ability to continue to adopt the going concern basis of accounting for a period of at least twelve months from the date when the financial statements are authorised for issue.

Risks of material misstatement

I have reported in a separate Annual Audit Report, which is available from the Audit Scotland website[51], the most significant assessed risks of material misstatement that I identified and my conclusions thereon.

Responsibilities of the Principal Accountable Officer for the financial statements

As explained more fully in the Statement of Principal Accountable Officer's Responsibilities, the Principal Accountable Officer is responsible for the preparation of financial statements that give a true and fair view in accordance with the financial reporting framework, and for such internal control as the Principal Accountable Officer determines is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.

In preparing the financial statements, the Principal Accountable Officer is responsible for using the going concern basis of accounting unless deemed inappropriate.

Auditor’s responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements

My objectives are to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and to issue an auditor’s report that includes my opinion. Reasonable assurance is a high level of assurance, but is not a guarantee that an audit conducted in accordance with ISAs (UK) will always detect a material misstatement when it exists. Misstatements can arise from fraud or error and are considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the economic decisions of users taken on the basis of these financial statements.

The risk of not detecting a material misstatement resulting from fraud is higher than for one resulting from error, as fraud may involve collusion, intentional omissions, misrepresentations, or the override of internal control. The capability of the audit to detect fraud and other irregularities depends on factors such as the skilfulness of the perpetrator, the frequency and extent of manipulation, the degree of collusion involved, the relative size of individual amounts manipulated, and the seniority of those individuals involved. I therefore design and perform audit procedures which respond to the assessed risks of material misstatement due to fraud.

A further description of my responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements is located on the Financial Reporting Council's website[52]. This description forms part of my auditor’s report.

Other information in the Scottish Government Consolidated Accounts

The Principal Accountable Officer is responsible for the other information in the Scottish Government Consolidated Accounts. The other information comprises the information other than the financial statements, the audited part of the Remuneration and Staff Report, and my auditor’s report thereon. My opinion on the financial statements does not cover the other information and I do not express any form of assurance conclusion thereon except on certain matters to the extent explicitly stated later in this report.

In connection with my audit of the financial statements, my responsibility is to read all the other information in the Scottish Government Consolidated Accounts and, in doing so, consider whether the other information is materially inconsistent with the financial statements or my knowledge obtained in the audit or otherwise appears to be materially misstated. If I identify such material inconsistencies or apparent material misstatements, I am required to determine whether there is a material misstatement in the financial statements or a material misstatement of the other information. If, based on the work I have performed, I conclude that there is a material misstatement of this other information, I am required to report that fact. I have nothing to report in this regard.

Report on regularity of expenditure and income

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.

Responsibilities for regularity

The Principal Accountable Officer is responsible for ensuring the regularity of expenditure and income. I am responsible for expressing an opinion on the regularity of expenditure and income in accordance with the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000.

Report on other requirements

Opinions on other prescribed matters

In my opinion, the audited part of the Remuneration and Staff Report has been properly prepared in accordance with the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 and directions made thereunder by the Scottish Ministers.

In my opinion, based on the work undertaken in the course of the audit:

  • the information given in the Performance Report for the financial year for which the financial statements are prepared is consistent with the financial statements and that report has been 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 Governance Statement for the financial year for which the financial statements are prepared is consistent with the financial statements and that report has been prepared in accordance with the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 and directions made thereunder by the Scottish Ministers.

Matters on which I report by exception

I report to you if, in my opinion:

  • adequate accounting records have not been kept; or
  • the financial statements and the audited part of the Remuneration and Staff Report are not in agreement with the accounting records; or
  • I have not received all the information and explanations I require for my audit.

I have nothing to report in respect of these matters.

Conclusions on wider scope responsibilities

In addition to my responsibilities for the annual report and accounts, my conclusions on the wider scope responsibilities specified in the Code of Audit Practice are set out in my Annual Audit Report.

Use of my report

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 120 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

Stephen Boyle,
Auditor General for Scotland,
102 West Port, Edinburgh, EH3 9DN

11 December 2020


Contact

Email: accountancyservicesunit@gov.scot