Annual Report and Accounts 1999-2000
Accounts and Financial Information
As Accounting Officer, I acknowledge my responsibility for ensuring that an effective system of internal financial control is maintained and operated by the Radiocommunications Agency.
The system can provide only reasonable and not absolute assurance that assets are safeguarded, transactions authorised and properly recorded, and that material errors or irregularities are either prevented or would be detected within a timely period.
The system of internal financial control is based on a framework of regular management information, administrative procedures including the segregation of duties, and a system of delegation and accountability. In particular, it includes:-
(a) comprehensive budgeting systems with an annual budget which is reviewed and agreed by the Management Board;
(b) the Agency's own integrated accounting system, comprising a general ledger, sales ledger, purchase ledger, purchasing, and fixed asset modules;
(c) regular reviews by the Management Board of periodic and annual financial reports which indicate financial performance against the forecasts;
(d) setting targets to measure financial and other performance;
(e) capital investment control guidelines and project management disciplines.
The Agency enjoys the services of the Department's internal audit unit, which operates to standards defined in the Government Internal Audit Manual. The work of the internal audit unit is informed by an analysis of the risk to which the body is exposed, and annual internal audit plans are based on this analysis. The analysis of risk and the internal audit plans are endorsed by the body's Audit Committee and approved by me. At least annually, the Head of Internal Audit (HIA) provides me with a report on internal audit activity in the body. The report includes the HIA's independent opinion on the adequacy and effectiveness of the body's system of internal financial control.
My review of the effectiveness of the system of internal financial control is informed by the work of the internal auditors, the Audit Committee which oversees the work of the internal auditor, the executive managers within the body who have responsibility for the development and maintenance of the financial control framework, and comments made by the external auditors in their management letter and other reports.
During the year, the Agency implemented a new unified licensing system (known as RULES) which, in conjunction with a new sales ledger, will significantly improve controls over income and debtors, as well as enhancing customer services.
The Agency's procedures for managing large projects will be reviewed in 2000/01 to make optimum use of the Agency's working relationships with RSI on the delivery of IT, and otherwise to bring the procedures up to the standards of best current practice. This will be consistent with recent and emerging advice from central government about managing large IT projects for success.
As Accounting Officer, I am aware of the recommend-at ions of the Turnbull Committee and I am taking reasonable steps to comply with the Treasury's requirement for a statement of internal control to be prepared for the year ending 31 March 2002, in accordance with guidance to be issued by them.
3 July 2000