This report summarises the results of financial audit work across central government bodies. It deals primarily deals with the results of the audit of 2016-17 accounts, but also reports the outcome of audits for previous accounting periods certified since the last General Report. Audit work on bodies within the health and social care sector will be addressed in a separate report.
The report summarises audit qualifications made on the accounts of central government bodies during 2017 and brings together a number of individual reports, the majority of which have been attached to accounts certified during the period. A number of common themes emerge from these reports:
- the role played by whistleblowers in identifying malpractice and the importance of timely investigation, reporting and resolution of the issues identified;
- the need for public officials to maintain high standards of conduct in public life, which includes complying with proper procedures and being open and transparent about potential conflicts of interest;
- the importance of proper record keeping to be able to show openness and transparency and to provide evidence of what was considered during decision making;
- the importance of strong governance arrangements and leadership within organisations; and
- the need for adequate, effective checks to ensure that fraudulent activity is prevented or detected.
The report indicates that central government bodies continue to make efforts to improve their control systems, but that further work is needed to resolve weaknesses, and that it is critical that basic controls are in place and operating effectively to prevent the misuse of public funds.
To read the Full Report, Executive Summary or Media Release please follow the links.