Annual Report and Accounts 2000-01


House of Lords

Works of Art Collection Fund

Account for the year ended 31 March 2001

FOREWORD

The Works of Art Collection Fund was established for the purpose of acquiring works of art for the House of Lords. Prior to 1 April 1992, it was funded by grant from the Department of the Environment. For the financial years 1992-93 and 1993-94, provision was made to meet expenditure from the House of Lords Works Services Vote. With effect from 1994-95 an annual grant is made from the Works Services Vote to the Works of Art Collection Fund and unspent balances up to a maximum of £80,000 may be carried forward. With the agreement of the Treasury, the annual grant was increased to £28,000 in April 1998. The Fund is regulated by a Financial Memorandum drawn up by the Offices Committee.

STATEMENT OF THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS OFFICES COMMITTEE, THE ADVISORY PANEL ON WORKS OF ART AND THE ACCOUNTING OFFICER OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS WORKS OF ART COLLECTION FUND

The House of Lords Works of Art Collection Fund was established on 1 April 1993 with the approval of the Finance and Staff Sub-Committee of the House of Lords Offices Committee, as ratified by the Offices Committee on 23 March 1993. Responsibility for the preparation of the Annual Accounts is vested with the Advisory Panel on Works of Art. The Clerk of the Parliaments is the ex- officio Accounting Officer for all the House of Lords' accounts through his appointment by Her Majesty by Letters Patent. The annual 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 Offices Committee has delegated the responsibility for administering the Works of Art Collection Fund to the House of Lords Advisory Panel on Works of Art. The responsibilities of the Advisory Panel on Works of Art and the financial authority delegated to the Curator of Works of Art are set out in the Financial Memorandum agreed with HM Treasury on 22 February 1993 and subsequent revision agreed with HM Treasury on 11 February 1998. A detailed Scheme of Delegation for the Fund was agreed by the Advisory Panel on Works of Art on 31 March 1993.

The Chairman of the Advisory Panel together with the Clerk of the Parliaments signs the Works of Art Collection Fund annual accounts which are presented to the Offices Committee through the Finance and Staff Sub- Committee. The Clerk's relevant responsibilities as Accounting Officer, including his responsibility for the propriety and regularity of the public 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.

Account for the House of Lords Works of Art Collection Fund
Year ended 31 March 2001


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

I have audited the financial statements on page 94 which have been prepared in a form approved by the House of Lords Offices Committee.

Respective responsibilities of the House of Lords Offices Committee, the Advisory Panel on Works of Art, the Accounting Officer and Auditor

As described on page 93, the Advisory Panel and the Accounting Officer are responsible for the preparation of the financial statements and for ensuring the regularity of financial transactions. The Advisory Panel and the Accounting Officer 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 an independent auditor, are 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 Works of Art Collection Fund, and whether in all material respects the receipts and payments have been applied to the purposes intended by Parliament and the financial transactions conform to the authorities which govern them. 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 of my certificate if I become aware of any apparent misstatements or material inconsistencies with the financial statements.

Basis of audit 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 Advisory Panel and the Accounting Officer 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 and that, in all material respects, the receipts and payments have been applied to the purposes intended by Parliament and conform to the authorities which govern them. In forming my opinion I 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 Works of Art Collection Fund for the year ended 31 March 2001 and the balance held at that date; and

  • in all material respects the receipts and payments have been applied to the purposes intended by Parliament and the financial transactions conform to the authorities which govern them.


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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