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True and fair opinions The C&AG, with the support of the NAO, provides an independent audit opinion on some 370 individual accounts across the public sector, including: All government departments Executive agencies Arm’s-length bodies Companies, audited under statute or on a voluntary basis Charities We provide a true and fair audit opinion on each account. […]

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February 27, 2013

True and fair opinions

The C&AG, with the support of the NAO, provides an independent audit opinion on some 370 individual accounts across the public sector, including:

  • All government departments
  • Executive agencies
  • Arm’s-length bodies
  • Companies, audited under statute or on a voluntary basis
  • Charities

We provide a true and fair audit opinion on each account. This 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.

Our public sector audit portfolio increasingly includes commercial entities such as Network Rail, the BBC and UK Asset Resolution Ltd. The scope and nature of our audit work is defined by international standards in auditing. We have carried on investing in our in-house IT audit capability to make greater use of technology in our audits to:

  • Enhance quality by using automated tools that help our auditors focus their efforts on the key risks to their audits
  • Increase insight through improved understanding of business processes and supporting technology
  • Deliver efficiency by automating the more routine aspects of our work to allow it to be done more quickly and so ensure we focus effort where in-depth work and professional judgement is needed

We use the knowledge and insight gained from our financial audits to inform our other work, such as value for money studies and investigations.

Regularity Opinion

Spend is deemed ‘regular’ when money provided by Parliament is spent on purposes intended by Parliament. The use of resources authorised by Parliament is deemed regular where resources have been used in the way Parliament intended and authorised.

The Government Resources and Accounts Act 2000 requires the C&AG to provide an opinion on regularity for all resource and other departmental accounts prepared under this Act. Regularity opinions are also provided by convention on the vast majority of other audits performed by the C&AG, where public money is involved.

Outcomes of the Audit of Financial Statements in 2017-18

The NAO audited 370 accounts in the 2017-18 financial year. To date, two of these had true and fair qualification, four had regularity qualifications (one of which had an additional true and fair qualification) and there were three additional Reports on Accounts, as well as Section 2 reports on Trust Statements.

These are listed below:

2017-18 True and Fair Qualifications

2017-18 Regularity Qualifications

2017-18 Section 2 reports:

2017-18 C&AG’s Reports on unqualified accounts:

Whole of Government Accounts

HM Treasury prepares a whole of government account (WGA) each year, currently the most recent is the financial statements for 2017-18. There is no regularity opinion on the whole of government account, the True and Fair opinion has been qualified in recent years.