Professional Audit Qualifications of POL employees undertaking audits in Subpostoffices

Alan Bates (JFSA) made this Freedom of Information request to Royal Mail Group Limited

The request was partially successful.

From: Alan Bates (JFSA)

4 December 2011

Dear Royal Mail Group Limited,

What is the minimum audit qualification a Post Office Limited
employee must hold before that employee is allowed to undertake an
audit of a subpostoffice?

Why does Post Office Limited not allow a subpostmaster to bring
their own professionally qualified auditor into a subpostoffice if
that subpostmaster queries the result of an audit undertake by POL
employees?

Yours faithfully,

Alan Bates

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Royal Mail Group Limited

6 December 2011

Dear Mr Bates,

Your Ref: AJME-8PAKQJ

Thank you for your request for information received on 4 December 2011,
which we are considering under the Freedom of Information Act. Under the
Act you should expect a reply from us to be sent by 4 January 2012, which
is twenty working days from receipt of your request.

If for any reason we are unable to provide you with a full response within
that time, we will contact you explaining the reasons for this and giving a
revised date by which we will reply.

If in the meantime you have any questions or would like to contact us about
your request, please contact us by telephone 0207 250 2227 or alternatively
email or write to us at the address below. Please be assured that we are
giving this our attention and will get back to you shortly.

Yours sincerely

Andrew Moore
[Royal Mail Group request email]
1st Floor, Bunhill Row Wing
148 Old Street
London
EC1V 9HQ

Post Office Ltd is registered in England and Wales. Registered No. 2154540.
Registered Office 148 Old Street, London, EC1V 9HQ. Post Office and the
Post Office logo are registered trade marks of Post Office Ltd.

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Royal Mail Group Limited

4 January 2012

Dear Mr Bates

Ref: AJME-8PAKQJ

I am writing in response to your email received by Post Office Limited on
04 December 2011, which I am dealing with under the terms of the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.

In your email, you have asked the following two questions:

1) What is the minimum audit qualification a Post Office Limited
employee must hold before that employee is allowed to undertake an
audit of a subpostoffice?
2) Why does Post Office Limited not allow a subpostmaster to bring their
own professionally qualified auditor into a subpostoffice if that
subpostmaster queries the result of an audit undertake by POL
employees?

In response to part one of your request, I can advise you that all of our
Field Team are multi-skilled and conduct training and audit and
intervention activity. They are trained in and have experience of branch
operations and the accounting processes for cash and stock carried out by
the agent. The competence of the Field Team is ensured through training,
performance management and quality assurance including agent feedback.

In response to part two of your request, the agent is always encouraged to
observe the audit and to be present throughout. They have the opportunity
to check and verify both the assets and the audit results on completion of
the audit. The cash and stock held in branch constitute public funds and it
would be inappropriate to involve other unsolicited third parties in the
handling of those public funds.

I hope the information I have provided on this occasion is of use, if I can
be of further help or you have any queries about this response please
contact me via the email address [Royal Mail Group request email].

If you are dissatisfied with the handling of this response, you do have a
right to request an internal review. Internal review requests should be
submitted to:

Head of Information Compliance
Royal Mail Group
Company Secretary's Office
100 Victoria Embankment
LONDON
EC4Y 0HQ
[Royal Mail Group request email]

If, having requested an internal review by Royal Mail, you are still not
satisfied with our response you also have a right of appeal to the
Information Commissioner at:

Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
Water Lane
Wilmslow
Cheshire
SK9 5AF
Telephone: 01625 545 700
www.informationcommissioner.gov.uk

Yours sincerely

Peter Johnson
Information Manager

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