FINANCIAL AND OTHER ACCOUNTABILITIES
Financial and other accountabilities
Transport Scotland is funded from the Scottish Government's Infrastructure and Capital Investment portfolio Budget, which is determined by the Scottish Ministers as part of the Budget setting process, including spending reviews.
Accountable Officer Roles
The Permanent Secretary of the Scottish Government has Principal Accountable Officer responsibility for the organisation and management of the Scottish Government. He is the Scottish Ministers' principal adviser on expenditure and for ensuring a high standard of financial management in the Scottish Government, including its Agencies.
The Principal Accountable Officer designates the Chief Executive of Transport Scotland as its Accountable Officer under section 15 of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000.
The Director General is the Portfolio Accountable Officer for the budget from which Transport Scotland is funded.
The Director General as Portfolio Accountable Officer is responsible for monitoring the financial and operational performance of the Agency, seeking clarification on any matter as and when required, in order to ensure that operational accountability is being exercised properly.
The roles and responsibilities of Accountable Officers for parts of the Scottish Administration, as designated by the Principal Accountable Officer, are set out in the Memorandum to Accountable Officers for parts of the Scottish Administration.
The Chief Executive, as Accountable Officer is responsible for providing assurance about the financial and operational performance of the Agency.
The Chief Executive is responsible for ensuring that financial procedures comply with financial guidance issued by Scottish Government Finance Directorate and the Scottish Procurement Directorate. Transport Scotland must comply with the requirements of the Scottish Public Finance Manual and all other relevant guidance, including appropriate engagement with the relevant Scottish Government Finance Directorate Business Partners (or equivalent).
In particular, as Agency Accountable Officer, the Chief Executive has a personal responsibility for the propriety and regularity of public expenditure by the Agency and for ensuring that all related resources are used economically, efficiently and effectively. As Agency Accountable Officer the Chief Executive has a duty to secure Best Value, which includes the concepts of good corporate governance, performance management and continuous improvement. Guidance to Accountable Officers on what their organisations should be able to demonstrate in fulfilment of the duties which make up a Best Value regime is included in the Best Value section of the Scottish Public Finance Manual.
Financial Delegations to Transport Scotland
The financial delegations for Transport Scotland are set out in Annex 1.
Transport Scotland must involve the Scottish Government Finance Directorate in financial decisions and other financial matters in accordance with relevant guidance and delegations.
Within these delegations, Transport Scotland may contract with others for materials, land and buildings or functions and services. The Chief Executive is responsible for securing best value for money for Scottish Ministers' resources in making all procurement arrangements.
The Chief Executive is responsible for arranging internal audit mechanisms, in accordance with the objectives and standards laid down in the Government Internal Audit Manual and in a way which demonstrates best value for money. The Portfolio Accountable Officer may ask the Scottish Government Internal Audit Unit undertake any work required to provide independent assurance about Transport Scotland's financial management and control, if he or she considers it necessary.
Audit and Risk Committee
The Management Team will establish and maintain an Audit and Risk Committee which will be constituted and operate in conformity with the terms of the Scottish Government's Audit Committee Handbook. It will be chaired by a Non Executive member. The Chief Executive and the Agency's Finance Director will routinely attend the Committee as will representatives of Internal and External Audit. The Committee may, however, sit privately as and when it may so decide and it will determine its own meeting cycle.
The remit of the Audit and Risk Committee will include supporting the Chief Executive with regard to the efficient and effective use of programme expenditure and the associated responsibilities for risk management, control, governance and associated assurance. The Audit and Risk Committee will be responsible for drawing any significant matters arising in this respect to the attention of the Scottish Government Audit Committee, for example in instances where issues may depend upon factors which are out with the control of Transport Scotland or have implications for the operation of the Scottish Government and its public bodies more generally.
Transport Scotland will be subject to external audit by the Auditor General for Scotland (AGS), or by auditors appointed by the AGS.
Annual Report and Accounts
The Chief Executive is required to sign and present annually an Annual Report and Accounts to Scottish Ministers, and to arrange for laying before the Scottish Parliament. This document will include a report on Transport Scotland's performance against the objectives and targets set by Ministers for the relevant year.
Transport Scotland will keep proper accounts and records as defined in the Government Financial Reporting Manual and Scottish Public Finance Manual. The Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000 stipulates that the Annual Report and Accounts will be laid before the Scottish Parliament and published after the accounts have been audited and certified by the Auditor General for Scotland. Transport Scotland is within the Scottish Government accounting boundary and therefore will be required to complete its accounts in accordance with the timetable for the production of the Scottish Government consolidated accounts. The Chief Executive, as accountable officer, will provide a statement on Internal Control alongside the Agency's annual accounts.
Management Accounting and Purchasing Systems
Transport Scotland will operate financial and other systems which provide the Transport Scotland Accountable Officer (the Chief Executive) and the Portfolio Accountable Officer (DG Environment, Enterprise and Digital) with sufficient information to assure them that Transport Scotland's responsibilities are being discharged and expenditure incurred and accounted for appropriately, and that Transport Scotland is achieving efficiency and value for money from its resources in delivering its functions. Transport Scotland will provide robust financial and other information for internal management and Scottish Government reporting requirements, making use of Scottish Government systems available, where appropriate. This includes appropriate counter fraud arrangements, control systems and procedures, with details set out in a fraud policy statement and fraud response plan.
Arrangements for risk management
The Chief Executive is responsible for implementing and monitoring appropriate risk management arrangements as part of a robust corporate governance framework in accordance with the relevant guidance in the Scottish Public Finance Manual. This involves the active monitoring and reporting of risk and risk profile changes, to gain assurance that risk management is effective, and to identify when further action is necessary as part of a comprehensive and coordinated approach to managing risk and the successful delivery of agency functions and projects.
Transport Scotland's risks, including public and employer liability, are carried in line with the Scottish Government's policy on insurance. The Chief Executive will keep the Scottish Government Finance Directorate informed of the nature and potential level of any contingent liabilities arising, including where possible an assessment of their values. Where appropriate he or she will report contingent liabilities to the Scottish Parliament, seeking prior approval to enter into arrangements that will incur additional ones where appropriate in line with the relevant guidance in the Scottish Public Finance Manual.