Annual Report and Accounts 2000-01


House of Lords Security Fund

Account for the year ended 31 March 2001

FOREWORD

Background

In all civil cases where an Appeal lies to the House of Lords, under the provisions of the Appellate Jurisdiction Act 1876, Appellants must provide security for the costs of such Appeals. The following categories are exempt from this requirement:

    (i) Appellants who have been granted Legal Aid;

    (ii) Appellants in Appeals under the Child Abduction & Custody Act 1985;

    (iii) an Appellant who is a Minister or Government Department;

    (iv) where all the Respondents agree to Security for Costs being waived.

Financial Operations

The Account of the House of Lords Security Fund records the receipt, payment and disposition of the lodgements for each financial year. The sum lodged by the Appellants is a statutory amount as authorised from time to time by the House of Lords' Offices Committee. The most recent revision was in October 2000 when it was increased from £18,000 to £25,000. No other receipts and payments are entered in this account; no interest is paid on the lodgements, nor are any fees deducted. Public funds benefit from the Security Fund in so far as monies in the hands of the Paymaster General are lent back to the Treasury from day to day, thus reducing borrowing from the public.

Security Fund monies are payable to the relevant Party usually on issue of the Final Judgment or Taxation of the Bill of Costs.

STATEMENT OF THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE ACCOUNTING OFFICER AND THE ACCOUNTANT OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS

The Clerk of the Parliaments as ex-officio Accounting Officer, through his appointment by Letters Patent issued by Her Majesty, is responsible for the administration of and preparation of accounts for the House of Lords, including those for the Security Fund. The Security Fund Accounts are prepared on a cash basis and must properly present the receipts and payments for the financial year and the balances held at year-end.

The Clerk's relevant responsibilities as Accounting Officer, including his responsibility for the propriety and regularity of the finances for which he is answerable and for the keeping of proper records, are set out in the Accounting Officers' Memorandum, issued by the Treasury, published in Government Accounting and copied to the Clerk on his appointment.

The Accountant of the House of Lords is delegated by the Accounting Officer to be responsible for maintaining proper accounting records, for the preparation of the annual accounts and for signing the accounts together with the Clerk.

Account for the House of Lords Security Fund Year ended 31 March 2001


Note: The closing balance of £1,169,000 was made up of one Deposit of £12,000, 49 deposits of £18,000 and 11 deposits of £25,000.


C. PreeceJ. M. Davies
AccountantClerk of the Parliaments

26 June 2001

THE CERTIFICATE OF THE COMPTROLLER AND AUDITOR GENERAL TO THE HOUSE OF LORDS OFFICES COMMITTEE

I certify that I have audited the financial statements on page 91 in accordance with SI 1984/1074 and section 3(1) of the Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1921. These financial statements have been prepared in a form approved by the House of Lords Offices Committee.

Respective Responsibilities of the Accounting Officer, Accountant of the House of Lords and Auditor

As described on page 90, the Clerk of the Parliaments, as Accounting Officer, and the Accountant of the House of Lords are responsible for the preparation of the financial statements. The Accounting Officer and the Accountant of the House of Lords are also responsible for the preparation of the Foreword. The Accounting Officer is responsible for the preparation of the other contents of the Annual Report. My responsibilities, as independent auditor, are established by statute and guided by the Auditing Practices Board and the auditing profession's ethical guidance.

I report my opinion as to whether the financial statements properly present the receipts and payments of the House of Lords Security Fund. I also report if, in my opinion, the Foreword is not consistent with the financial statements, if the House of Lords has not kept proper accounting records, or if I have not received all the information and explanations I require for my audit. I read the other information contained in the Annual Report and consider whether it is consistent with the audited financial statements. I consider the implications for my certificate if I become aware of any apparent misstatements or material inconsistencies with the financial statements.

Basis of Opinion

I conducted my audit in accordance with United Kingdom Auditing Standards issued by the Auditing Practices Board. An audit includes examination, on a test basis, of evidence relevant to the amounts, disclosures and regularity of financial transactions included in the financial statements. It also includes an assessment of the significant estimates and judgements made by the Accounting Officer and the Accountant in the preparation of the financial statements.

I planned and performed my audit so as to obtain all the information and explanations which I considered necessary in order to provide me with sufficient evidence to give reasonable assurance that the financial statements are free from material misstatement, whether caused by error or by fraud or other irregularity. In forming my opinion I have also evaluated the overall adequacy of the presentation of information in the financial statements.

Opinion

In my opinion the account properly presents the receipts and payments of the House of Lords Security Fund for the year ended 31 March 2001 and the balance held at that date.


J. D. ThorpeNational Audit Office
Director of Audit 157-197 Buckingham Palace Road
for the Comptroller Victoria
and Auditor General London SW1W 9SP

6 July 2001


 
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