The Comptroller and Auditor General has qualified his audit opinion on the 2009-10 accounts of the UK Statistics Authority owing to the Authority spending more cash than the authorized limit set by Parliament.Jump to downloads
The Comptroller and Auditor General has qualified his audit opinion on the 2009-10 accounts of the UK Statistics Authority owing to the Authority spending more cash than the authorized limit set by Parliament.
The Statement of Parliamentary Supply shows that the Authority spent £208.112 million during 2009-10, which is £0.251 million in excess of the amount authorized and was therefore irregular.
A number of factors led to the excess. The Comptroller and Auditor General considers that, although the specific cash breach was caused by a failure of year end financial controls, there was also an ongoing risk around the management of supply limits throughout the period. The cash management process operating throughout the year meant that there was a real risk of exceeding the approved limits at year-end. This risk materialized and the management review process failed to prevent the cash excess.
Another contributory factor was changes to payment performance targets. In March 2010, the Government amended the target payment terms to suppliers from ten days to five days. As a result, the Authority worked to pay as many creditors as possible before year-end.
In response to our audit findings, the Authority has undertaken a number of actions to ensure that a similar event does not occur again. As well as commissioning internal audit to establish the cause of the excess and identify the improvements required, the Authority is introducing additional supervisory controls and a system to improve the documentation of processes, and staff are receiving training and guidance. Subject to these improvements being implemented, the Comptroller and Auditor General is content that steps are being taken to ensure this situation will not recur.
"I have qualified my audit opinion on the 2009-10 financial accounts of the UK Statistics Authority because it spent more cash than the authorized limit set by Parliament. This was mainly caused by a failure of year end financial controls. It is important that the steps now being taken by the Authority have the desired effect of improving financial management."Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office
- uk_statistics_accounts_0910.pdf (.pdf — 48 KB)