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2007 08 whole of government accounts review 2008 09 – all bodies


									Treasury Officer of Accounts
David Thomson

Central Finance Group
Rathgael House
Balloo Road
Tel No: 028 9185 8150 (x 68150)
Fax No: 028 9185 8175

                                                               DCM (DFP) 02/09

                                                                28 January 2009

Dear Consolidation Manager

2007- 08 Whole of Government Accounts Review – All bodies

Purpose of this letter

1.    This letter provides feedback and review of the 2007-08 WGA process.


2.    The letter applies to central government departments, Club Pension
      Schemes, NI Consolidated Fund (NICF), NDPBs, HSS Trusts, Local
      Councils, Trading Funds, Public Corporations and Small Bodies but not to
      Minor Bodies.


3.    Last year was the third year that departments submitted returns for WGA
      which included bodies from the Health and Local government sectors and
      the sixth year that Central Government bodies have input into the process.
      The process is now largely complete with sign off on the individual Northern
      Ireland consolidations having been achieved.

4.    There was a reduction of 15% in the number of consolidation journals

      posted by DFP to correct C or S Pack errors and Treasury has also
      completed the review of all UK submitted data, and a copy of the HMT
      review letter is attached. Northern Ireland bodies will already be aware of
      any significant issues.     This is encouraging, although common mistakes
      continued to occur in the completion of the process. These are detailed in
      Annex A.

5.    We are aware of the ongoing pressures being placed on finance staff with
      initiatives such as IFRS and, for departments, the move to Account NI.
      Nevertheless I would like to stress the importance of making timely and
      accurate returns to DFP. The DFP Accounting Officer is required to sign off
      the Northern Ireland sub consolidation processes as Principal Consolidation
      Officer (PCO), and in order to do this, relies on the assurance provided in
      the returns from bodies to conclude that the process has been completed
      and is in accordance with the relevant guidance. It is therefore imperative
      that completed returns are provided to DFP in accordance with the WGA

Publication of WGA

6.    HMT anticipates that 2008-09 will be the final year before full publication of
      a WGA account in 2009-10. Although WGA will be published on an IFRS
      basis, no comparative information will be required. Therefore 2008-09 WGA
      will be on a UK GAAP basis.

7.    Guidance for all bodies in relation to 2008-09 WGA will be issued as Dear
      Consolidation Officer (DCO) and Dear Consolidation Manager (DCM) letters
      in the coming months.


8.    Consolidation Managers are asked to:

           note DFP’s appreciation for the efforts of all involved in the 2007-08
            WGA process; and
           ensure appropriate action is taken to address any relevant issues
            detailed in Annex A
           review the attached HM Treasury letter MS FD (09) 03 Whole of
            Government Accounts 2007/08 Progress Update, with specific
            attention to principal concerns in paragraph 7, especially the inter-
            departmental agreement process.


9.    Any enquiries regarding this letter should be addressed to Peter O’Sullivan
      (Email peter.o’ on 028 91858133 (GTN: 68133) or
      Nigel Patterson (Email on 028 91277683
      (GTN: 69083).

Yours sincerely


                                                                             Annex A

Common Issues

Agreement of Transaction Streams and Balances

1. In carrying out the agreement process all balances/transaction streams over
   £1m should be agreed. There were instances where the formal transaction
   stream/balance agreement process had been completed but differences in
   excess of the permitted threshold remained unresolved.            These differences
   must be resolved before the process can be completed by AASD. Therefore,
   where possible the two parties should agree an adjustment to the appropriate
   party’s accounts to resolve these differences rather than simply reporting the
   discrepancy.    However, if there are valid reasons for the difference (e.g.
   differences in accounting policies) details should be noted on the return to DFP
   to enable appropriate corrections to be posted at the central consolidation level.

Input of Counter-Party Information to Packs

2. In attempting to resolve mismatches, AASD identified that some Counter Party
   data was missing from several uploaded Packs. This was caused by the upload
   of counter party information which did not include appropriate selections in the
   COINS data upload module. It is important to check the COINS guidance on
   uploading      packs.   Current     upload     guidance      is      available     at,           specifically   the
   section ‘Outturn - The DLM and the CIM’. The pack information of the bodies
   concerned had to be reloaded which took some time on behalf of both the
   bodies and AASD.

3. There were a number of cases where CPIDs had been omitted in the WGA
   packs, resulting in a mismatch between some bodies. AASD become aware of
   these mismatches when they review the Treasury COINS reports. It is
   important to check and verify that all CPIDs in excess of £1m recorded on the
   Agreement forms are translated to the CPID upload section of the pack.

4. Some bodies attached CPIDs in their packs to amounts less than £1 million.
   Journals have to be processed by AASD to remove these CPID codes which
   create unnecessary mismatches. The guidance at Appendix 1 of DCM (DFP)
   03/08 para.10 states ‘balances below £1m, in aggregate, should not be
   reported in Packs or COINS.’ It would be appreciated if bodies could adhere to
   this in future.

5. AASD also noted instances where CPID codes were attached to nil balances in
   Packs. A CPID code identifies a counter party transaction stream/balance.
   There cannot be a CPID against a code with a nil balance.          These errors
   required the Pack concerned to be reloaded to correct the issue.

6. On a number of occasions the CPID code for DFP (DFP843) was used
   incorrectly in place of the N.I. Consolidated Fund CPID code (NCF843) for
   payments to the N.I. Consolidated Fund.

7. Some NDPBs had correctly identified the CPID amount in their Packs;
   however, the sign had been entered incorrectly thus creating a mismatch.

Other Issues

8. On a number of occasions the incorrect SCOA code was used for rates
   information. The correct SCOA code to use is 51401300 ‘Business Rates’.

9. The additional notes sections of the packs require appropriate care when being
   completed. In the Miscellaneous Input tab of the C pack, there is a note to
   complete the staff numbers in whole numbers. In a few instances this section
   had been completed in thousands instead of whole numbers.

  Attachment to DCM
  (DFP) 02/09 can be
  found on the AASD
     Website under
  ‘WGA - attachment’


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