19th September 2012
Shetland Islands Council’s accounts gain Audit Scotland’s seal of approval
Shetland Islands Council’s financial accounts for 2011/12 have been given a clean bill of health by Audit Scotland.
For the first time in 7 years, SIC’s external auditors have issued an unqualified opinion on the annual accounts, subject to final approval before the end of this month. This means they provide a true and fair view of the Council’s financial position as at 31st March 2012.
The authority was criticised last year for the poor quality of its financial statements and inadequate working papers. This year, they were submitted ahead of time and were described as being ‘of a high standard’.
This is the first year that the accounts of Shetland Charitable Trust have been included in the group accounts, which is a very significant change to the Council's group financial statements, and one which is supported by the auditors.
Chief Executive Alistair Buchan: “In my view, this is an absolutely crucial development for the Council’s future success. I’m very pleased with Audit Scotland’s opinion on the annual accounts, which highlights the significant improvements made over the past year within the Council’s finance service. This also reflects the ongoing progress being made across the Council towards delivering its Improvement Plan. I’m very grateful to Executive Manager James Gray and his staff for their hard work.”
SIC Political Leader Gary Robinson: "I'm delighted that we've managed to resolve the long-standing problems that have led to our accounts being qualified for the last 7 years. I think this clearly demonstrates that the new approach taken by the leadership of this Council towards working with its partners and external organisations is yielding dividends. It marks a significant milestone in the Shetland Islands Council's Improvement Plan. I'd like to add my thanks to our finance team and everyone who's worked towards this achievement."