Independent auditor's report to the Auditor General for Scotland and the Scottish Parliament
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 approved by the Auditor General for Scotland, I do not undertake to have responsibilities to members or officers, in their individual capacities, or to third parties.
Report on the audit of the financial statements
Opinion on financial statements
I have audited the financial statements in the Scottish Government Non-Domestic Rating Account for the year ended 31 March 2018 under Schedule 12 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992. The financial statements comprise the Receipts and Payments Account, Statement of Balances and the Notes to the Account. The financial reporting framework that has been applied in their preparation is applicable law and the receipts and payments basis.
In my opinion the accompanying financial statements:
- properly present in accordance with Schedule 12 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 as amended by Schedule 13 of the Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994 and directions made thereunder by the Scottish Ministers the receipts and payments of the account for the year ended 31 March 2018 and the balances held at that date; and
- have been prepared in accordance with the requirements of Schedule 12 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 and directions made thereunder by the Scottish Ministers.
Basis of 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 account 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. I believe that the audit evidence I have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for my opinion.
Responsibilities of the Accountable Officer for the financial statements
As explained more fully in the Statement of the Accountable Officer's Responsibilities, the Accountable Officer is responsible for the preparation and proper presentation of financial statements in accordance with the financial reporting framework, and for such internal control as the Accountable Officer determines is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.
Auditor's responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements
My objectives are to achieve 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.
A further description of the auditor's responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements is located on the Financial Reporting Council's website www.frc.org.uk/auditorsresponsibilities. This description forms part of my auditor's report.
Other information in the Scottish Government Non-Domestic Rating Account
The Accountable Officer is responsible for the other information in the Scottish Government Non-Domestic Rating Account. The other information comprises the information other than the financial statements 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 matters prescribed by the Auditor General for Scotland 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 Non-Domestic Rating Account 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 receipts and payments
Opinion on regularity
In my opinion in all material respects:
- the receipts and payments 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 payments shown in the financial statements were applied in accordance with section 65 of the Scotland Act 1998.
Responsibilities for regularity
The Accountable Officer is responsible for ensuring the regularity of receipts and payments. I am responsible for expressing an opinion on the regularity of receipts and payments in accordance with the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000.
Report on other requirements
Opinion on matter prescribed by the Auditor General for Scotland
In my opinion, based on the work undertaken in the course of the audit, the information given in the Foreword 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 by the Auditor General for Scotland to report to you if, in my opinion:
- adequate accounting records have not been kept; or
- the financial statements 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.Stephen Boyle CPFA
4th Floor, South Suite, The Athenaeum Building
8 Nelson Mandela Place
13 September 2018