ARCHIVE: Producing annual reports and accounts for Defra executive agencies
This guidance applies to Defra’s executive agencies. The information is relevant to a number of different readerships including:
- Defra’s Delivery Relationship Team (DRT) (as corporate sponsors of the executive agency)
- executive agency staff and chief executive
- Defra’s internal audit division
- members of executive agency ownership boards
- the chief executive’s line manager (in core Defra)
- policy customers of executive agencies.
This guidance describes the annual report and accounts (ARAs) process for an executive agency.
From 2005/2006 financial year onwards, the executive agency’s chief executive must ensure the integrated ARAs are completed and signed off by the Comptroller & Auditor General (C&AG) before the end of May.
The executive agency’s chief executive prepares audited integrated ARAs in consultation with the ownership board or equivalent.
The ARAs must be completed and signed off by the C&AG before the end of May.
The following approval process should be followed:
- ARAs are considered by ownership boards or equivalent and cleared through correspondence.
- Agreed ARAs are sent to DRT for submission to minister.
- Executive agency takes on ministerial comments (if any).
- Audit and risk committee considers and finalises ARAs for sign off by C&AG.
- The National Audit Office (NAO) audits (link to 4.6.3.) the integrated ARAs, and the C&AG signs them off by the end of May, with respect to the fitness for purpose of the accounts, performance against financial targets, and overall consistency.
- DRT submits the ARAs to the relevant Defra minister, on behalf of the ownership board (or equivalent) and requests permission for them to be laid in the Houses of Parliament.
- Defra parliamentary and briefing branch then lays the ARAs before Parliament before the summer recess.
Executive agencies should contact DRT at an early stage to confirm the approval process. In some cases the relevant minister will only want to see the ARAs after the C&AG has signed them off.
The accounts will be produced under the accounts direction issued by Treasury under Section 7(2) of the Government Resources and Accounts Act 2000. This work is completed by the NAO.
The role of DRT, as secretariat for the ownership boards or equivalent, is to:
- seek ministerial preferences as to the handling process
- gain agreement from ownership and strategy boards and their equivalent for annual reports and accounts
- gain clearance from ministers for all agencies’ annual reports and accounts
- ensure all agencies’ annual reports and accounts are laid before Parliament.
The timetable for the production of annual reports and accounts is shown in this flow diagram, which also highlights when the ownership board or equivalent will be asked to comment on drafts.
The key contact point for these processes is DRT’s partnerships team ( firstname.lastname@example.org), who will be happy to help with any enquiries.
- Business plans and agreeing executive agency targets
- Producing annual reports and accounts
- Chief executive's performance bonus
If you require additional information on planning and management issues, and do not have access to the Defra intranet, please contact the Delivery Relationship Team.
Further guidance on this can be found in reports produced by the Treasury including:
Page last modified: 8 May 2006
Page published: 8 May 2006