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26.02.13

‘Significant misstatement of assets’ in DCMS accounts – NAO

Head of the National Audit Office Amyas Morse, the comptroller and auditor general, has refused to fully sign off the 2011-12 accounts for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The audit opinion was qualified because the DCMS accounts do not accurately reflect the value of some of its assets, he said.

Some of this was quite technical – for example, the BCC uses the International Financial Accounting Standards, not government accounting standards, which changes the way it records its tangible non-current asset.

But the NAO said: “The BBC has indicated to the Department that it will supply figures on a fair value basis for future years.”

It added: “…given the cost of the assets involved, it is likely that there is a significant misstatement of assets in the Department’s accounts.”

It says the DCMS “underestimated the complexity of the task [of preparing its accounts] and lacked the necessary capacity in its finance function” to hit its deadline, which had to be extended, and extra help bought in.

DCMS is to review its 2011-12 process, and the NAO urged it to learn the lessons from this year to ensure it can account to Parliament in a timely manner in the future.

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