Scottish Government: 2019/20 Audit of Scottish Government's Consolidated Accounts

The request was successful.

Dear Audit Scotland,

I refer to the following Audit Scotland publication - 2019/20 Audit of Scottish Government's Consolidated Accounts and specifically to commercial loans:

https://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/report...

I would be grateful for an explanation as to why interest is excluded from the balances owed to the Scottish Government on commercial loans as presented in your report?

For example, the loan to Glasgow Prestwick Airport is shown as £43.4 million (section 21, Main Report). Despite being presented as a "loan" the airport has not paid interest on the capital sum for many years, if at all. The airport therefore owes a further £5.1 million in unpaid interest, not disclosed in your report. In order to ensure full transparency and that there is public understanding of the exposure the amount owed should be presented in your report as £48.5m. This equally applies to other loans such as the one made to Ferguson Marine Engineering Limited (now in administration).

Yours faithfully,

Mr Paterson

Correspondence, Audit Scotland

7 Attachments

Good afternoon Mr Paterson

 

Just to confirm that we have received your query.

 

Audit Scotland’s offices are closed until further notice in line with
Scottish Government guidance on COVID-19 containment measures. Audit
Scotland staff are working from home. We aim to respond within 30 working
days but please be aware this may take longer for cases that require
detailed inquiries by auditors. 

 

What happens after you raise your issue of concern with us? 

 

Our correspondence team will consider the issues you have raised and will
use technical knowledge and professional judgement to determine what
action to take. So that you know what to expect, please look at our
[1]flowchart which gives more detail about how we deal with issues of
concern.  

 

Audit Scotland is not always best placed to deal with every issue, so we
recommend that you raise your issue of concern with the relevant public
body first. You can find more about Audit Scotland’s role and remit in
dealing with concerns in our [2]Issues of Concern Policy and Procedures,
and lots of other helpful information [3]here on our website. 

 

Confidentiality is important, and we will always try to maintain your
anonymity if possible. We only share the information you give us with our
own local auditors. Audit Scotland processes your personal information
lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner. Our [4]privacy policy will
give you more information on your rights and how we will process your
personal information. 

  

Thank you for taking the time to bring this matter to our attention.

 

 

Kind regards

 

Correspondence Team

Audit Scotland, 4th Floor, 102 West Port, Edinburgh EH3 9DN

T: 0131 625 1500 E: [5][email address]

[6]www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/contact-us

[7][IMG]

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Dear Correspondence,

I would be grateful of a response to my FOI request. It is now overdue. Whilst I completely accept there are difficult circumstances at the moment due the pandemic, this FOI request is straightforward.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Paterson

Correspondence, Audit Scotland

Thank you for contacting Audit Scotland. Please consider this automated
response as confirmation that we have received your correspondence.  

 

Audit Scotland’s offices are closed until further notice in line with
Scottish Government guidance on COVID-19 containment measures. Audit
Scotland staff are working from home.  We aim to respond within 30 working
days but please be aware this may take longer for cases that require
detailed inquiries by auditors. 

 

What happens after you raise your issue of concern with us? 

 

Our correspondence team will consider the issues you have raised and will
use technical knowledge and professional judgement to determine what
action to take.  So that you know what to expect, please look at our
[1]flowchart which gives more detail about how we deal with issues of
concern.  

 

Audit Scotland is not always best placed to deal with every issue, so we
recommend that you raise your issue of concern with the relevant public
body first.  You can find more about Audit Scotland’s role and remit in
dealing with concerns in our [2]Issues of Concern Policy and Procedures,
and lots of other helpful information [3]here on our website. 

 

Confidentiality is important, and we will always try to maintain your
anonymity if possible. We only share the information you give us with our
own local auditors. Audit Scotland processes your personal information
lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner. Our [4]privacy policy will
give you more information on your rights and how we will process your
personal information. 

 

We hope you find this information useful. 

 

Thank you for taking the time to bring this matter to our attention. 

 

 

Kind Regards 

Correspondence Team 

Audit Scotland, 4th Floor, 102 West Port, Edinburgh EH3 9DN 

T: 0131 625 1500 E: [email address

[5]www.audit-scotland.gov.uk 

 

[6][IMG] 

 

[7][IMG] 

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/upload...
2. http://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/uploads...
3. http://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/contact...
4. http://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/privacy
5. http://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/
6. http://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/
7. http://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/follow-...

Correspondence, Audit Scotland

7 Attachments

Dear Mr Paterson

 

As per our acknowledgement, we handled your correspondence as an enquiry
as you are seeking clarification on our report rather than additional
information.

 

The Scottish Government’s external auditors did consider including
interest from balances owed to the Scottish Government on commercial loans
when writing the 2019/20 audit report. However, to avoid any confusion
over the different interests rates and different application dates, they
took the decision to present it without interest as this provided greater
transparency over the loan principal.

 

I hope this is helpful.

 

Kind regards

 

Catherine Young

Audit Manager

Correspondence Team

Audit Scotland, 4th Floor, 102 West Port, Edinburgh EH3 9DN

T: 0131 625 1500 E: [1][email address]

[2]www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/contact-us

[3][IMG]

[4][IMG][5][IMG][6][IMG][7][IMG][8][IMG][9][IMG]

 

 

 

From: Correspondence <[email address]>
Sent: 08 January 2021 14:29
To: [FOI #715968 email]
Subject: FW: Freedom of Information request - Scottish Government: 2019/20
Audit of Scottish Government's Consolidated Accounts

 

Good afternoon Mr Paterson

 

Just to confirm that we have received your query.

 

Audit Scotland’s offices are closed until further notice in line with
Scottish Government guidance on COVID-19 containment measures. Audit
Scotland staff are working from home. We aim to respond within 30 working
days but please be aware this may take longer for cases that require
detailed inquiries by auditors. 

 

What happens after you raise your issue of concern with us? 

 

Our correspondence team will consider the issues you have raised and will
use technical knowledge and professional judgement to determine what
action to take. So that you know what to expect, please look at our
[10]flowchart which gives more detail about how we deal with issues of
concern.  

 

Audit Scotland is not always best placed to deal with every issue, so we
recommend that you raise your issue of concern with the relevant public
body first. You can find more about Audit Scotland’s role and remit in
dealing with concerns in our [11]Issues of Concern Policy and Procedures,
and lots of other helpful information [12]here on our website. 

 

Confidentiality is important, and we will always try to maintain your
anonymity if possible. We only share the information you give us with our
own local auditors. Audit Scotland processes your personal information
lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner. Our [13]privacy policy will
give you more information on your rights and how we will process your
personal information. 

  

Thank you for taking the time to bring this matter to our attention.

 

 

Kind regards

 

Correspondence Team

Audit Scotland, 4th Floor, 102 West Port, Edinburgh EH3 9DN

T: 0131 625 1500 E: [14][email address]

[15]www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/contact-us

[16][IMG]

[17][IMG][18][IMG][19][IMG][20][IMG][21][IMG][22][IMG]

 

 

 

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Dear Catherine Young

Thank you for responding to my enquiry. However, there should be transparency over the total financial exposure. Contrary to your response, excluding interest owed reduces not increases transparency. A reader may assume (incorrectly) that interest is being paid over to the Scottish Government. For example, in a meeting of the Scottish Parliament's REC Committee, committee members were unaware that interest was not being paid over by Prestwick Airport - it is instead accumulating. In that instance, it is false to even represent the transaction as a commercial loan.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Paterson

Correspondence, Audit Scotland

Thank you for contacting Audit Scotland. Please consider this automated
response as confirmation that we have received your correspondence.  

 

Audit Scotland’s offices are closed until further notice in line with
Scottish Government guidance on COVID-19 containment measures. Audit
Scotland staff are working from home.  We aim to respond within 30 working
days but please be aware this may take longer for cases that require
detailed inquiries by auditors. 

 

What happens after you raise your issue of concern with us? 

 

Our correspondence team will consider the issues you have raised and will
use technical knowledge and professional judgement to determine what
action to take.  So that you know what to expect, please look at our
[1]flowchart which gives more detail about how we deal with issues of
concern.  

 

Audit Scotland is not always best placed to deal with every issue, so we
recommend that you raise your issue of concern with the relevant public
body first.  You can find more about Audit Scotland’s role and remit in
dealing with concerns in our [2]Issues of Concern Policy and Procedures,
and lots of other helpful information [3]here on our website. 

 

Confidentiality is important, and we will always try to maintain your
anonymity if possible. We only share the information you give us with our
own local auditors. Audit Scotland processes your personal information
lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner. Our [4]privacy policy will
give you more information on your rights and how we will process your
personal information. 

 

We hope you find this information useful. 

 

Thank you for taking the time to bring this matter to our attention. 

 

 

Kind Regards 

Correspondence Team 

Audit Scotland, 4th Floor, 102 West Port, Edinburgh EH3 9DN 

T: 0131 625 1500 E: [email address

[5]www.audit-scotland.gov.uk 

 

[6][IMG] 

 

[7][IMG] 

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/upload...
2. http://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/uploads...
3. http://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/contact...
4. http://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/privacy
5. http://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/
6. http://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/
7. http://www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/follow-...

Correspondence, Audit Scotland

7 Attachments

Dear Mr Paterson

 

We have shared your further email with the auditors. They will, in future,
consider how to report these matters.

 

Kind regards

 

Catherine Young

Audit Manager

Correspondence Team

Audit Scotland, 4th Floor, 102 West Port, Edinburgh EH3 9DN

T: 0131 625 1500 E: [1][email address]

[2]www.audit-scotland.gov.uk/contact-us

[3][IMG]

[4][IMG][5][IMG][6][IMG][7][IMG][8][IMG][9][IMG]

 

From: Mr Paterson <[10][FOI #715968 email]>
Sent: 17 February 2021 13:22
To: Correspondence <[11][email address]>
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information request - Scottish Government: 2019/20
Audit of Scottish Government's Consolidated Accounts

 

 

Dear Catherine Young

 

 

Thank you for responding to my enquiry.  However, there should be
transparency over the total financial exposure.  Contrary to your
response, excluding interest owed reduces not increases transparency.  A
reader may assume (incorrectly) that interest is being paid over to the
Scottish Government.  For example, in a meeting of the Scottish
Parliament's REC Committee, committee members were unaware that interest
was not being paid over by Prestwick Airport - it is instead
accumulating.  In that instance, it is false to even represent the
transaction as a commercial loan.

 

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

 

Mr Paterson

 

 

 

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