Northern Ireland Library Authority 2011-12

14 January 2013

Northern Ireland Library Authority 2011-12

Mr Kieran Donnelly, the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) for Northern Ireland and Head of the Northern Ireland Audit Office (NIAO) has reported the results of the annual audit work carried out on the Northern Ireland Library Authority’s financial statements for 2011-12.

Mr Donnelly stated that “Although I welcome the progress the Northern Ireland Library Authority (NILA) has made on preparing an up to date and consistent valuation for is valuable book collection, it is disappointing that the anticipated resolution of this matter for 2011-12 did not occur.  I have qualified my audit opinion on this issue each year since NILA was established in 2009.  I acknowledge the scale of the valuation exercise, and the difficulties that NILA has encountered, and the steps taken to address this issue.  I expect, however, the qualification to my audit opinion to remain until the valuation issue is resolved”.

The Northern Ireland Library Authority (NILA) has included in its financial statements Stock Assets of £12.9 million to reflect a valuation by professional valuers in 2006.  Stock Assets consist of collections of rare and/or fine books and pamphlets to be retained for use by future generations because of their cultural and/or historical associations.  Prior to the formation of NILA there was there was no uniform definition of a Stock Asset or a consistent policy for the valuation of Stock Assets across Northern Ireland.  During the C&AG’s 2011-12 audit, NILA informed the NIAO that because of the scale of the revaluation exercise, it had decided to revalue only those individual books over £1,000 in value at this time.  A further valuation exercise is planned for 2012-13 for books below the £1,000 threshold.

Notes for Editors

The Northern Ireland Library Authority (NILA) was established in 2009 to provide public library services in Northern Ireland.  Previously these services had been the responsibility of the five regional Education and Library Boards.

The Comptroller and Auditor General is Head of the Northern Ireland Audit Office (the Audit Office).  He and the NIAO are totally independent of Government.  He certifies the accounts of Government Departments and a range of other public sector bodies.  He has statutory authority to report to the Assembly on the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which departments and public bodies use their resources.  His reports are published as Assembly papers.

The report relevant to this Press Release is attached and is published with the 2011-12 NILA Annual Report and Accounts which can be obtained from the NILA website, www.ni-libraries.net. [external link]

Background briefing can be obtained from the Northern Ireland Audit Office by contacting Denver Lynn (028 9025 1063).