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AICPA FAR : CPA Financial Accounting and Reporting test Dumps

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Exam Number : FAR
Exam Name : CPA Financial Accounting and Reporting
Vendor Name : AICPA
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FAR test Format | FAR Course Contents | FAR Course Outline | FAR test Syllabus | FAR test Objectives


Within the Blueprints, you will find the following information for each test section:

Content organized by Area, Group and Topic along with score weighting

Sample task statements that represent what you may be asked to do when testing

Skill levels at which tasks are tested

Reference materials that support the trial task statements

Number of item types you must complete (multiple-choice questions, task-based simulations and written communication tasks)

Score weighting of each item type



Content area allocation Weight

I. Conceptual Framework, Standard-Setting and Financial Reporting 25–35%

II. Select Financial Statement Accounts 30–40%

III. Select Transactions 20–30%

IV. State and Local Governments 5–15%



Each test section is delivered in five smaller sections called testlets. Each testlet features different item types (see below) used to test your knowledge and skills. To learn more about how each section is organized, including when you can take a break, review the CPA test structure.



Exam Item Types

You will be tested during the CPA test using three types of test items that appear within specific testlets in each section.



Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQ)

The multiple-choice portions are presented in the first two testlets of each test section.



Task-Based Simulations (TBS)

Task-based simulations are condensed case studies that test accounting knowledge and skills using real life, work-related situations. All task-based simulations are intended to assess knowledge and skills that are appropriate for an entry-level accountant. There are three TBS testlets in the AUD, FAR and REG sections, and two TBS testlets in the BEC section.



Written Communication Tasks

Written communication tasks appear only in the BEC section of the CPA Exam. For each of three written communication tasks, you must read a scenario and then write an appropriate document relating to the scenario. The instructions state what form the document should take (such as a memo or letter) and its focus. Your response should provide the correct information in writing that is clear, complete and professional.



Each of the four test sections is broken down into five smaller sections called testlets. These testlets feature multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and task-based simulations (TBSs). In the case of BEC, you also have to complete three written communication tasks. The number of MCQs and TBSs tested varies depending upon the specific section taken. You will receive at least one research question (research-oriented TBS) in the AUD, FAR and REG sections. To complete them, you will have to search the related authoritative literature and find an appropriate reference.



cpa-exam-sections

Breaks

During each test section, you will be offered a 15-minute break after the first TBS testlet. This is about midway through the section (two hours). You may accept this break and pause the test timer or you may continue testing. To accept the break, click the “Take a Break” button. During this break, you must leave the testing room and follow all Prometric security rules. The test timer will restart when the 15-minute break ends.



In addition to the 15-minute break, you may also take optional breaks after all other testlets but you cannot pause the test timer. The timer will continue to run.



The Financial Accounting and Reporting (FAR) section of the Uniform CPA
Exam (the Exam) assesses the knowledge and skills that a newly licensed
CPA must demonstrate in the financial accounting and reporting frameworks
used by business entities (public and nonpublic), not-for-profit entities and state
and local government entities.

The financial accounting and reporting frameworks that are eligible for
assessment within the FAR section of the test include the standards and
regulations issued by the:

• Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB)

• U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (U.S. SEC)

• American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA)

• Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB)

• International Accounting Standards Board (IASB)

A listing of standards and regulations promulgated by these bodies, and other
reference materials that are eligible for test in the FAR section of the
Exam are included under References at the conclusion of this introduction.

Content organization and tasks

The FAR section blueprint is organized by content AREA, content GROUP and
content TOPIC. Each group or Topic includes one or more representative TASKS
that a newly licensed CPA may be expected to complete in practice.

Tasks in the FAR section blueprint are representative. The tasks are not
intended to be (nor should they be viewed as) an all-inclusive list of tasks that
may be tested in the FAR section of the Exam. Additionally, it should be noted
that the number of tasks associated with a particular content group or topic
is not indicative of the extent such content group, Topic or related skill level
will be assessed on the Exam. For example, the Topic titled “Notes to financial
statements” in Area I includes two tasks that are intended to encompass the
required disclosures for any Topic in the FASB Accounting Standards Codification,
while the group titled “Leases” in Area III includes eight tasks that are limited
to the accounting requirements in the Leases Topic of the FASB Accounting
Standards Codification. The number of tasks included in the blueprint for this



group and this Topic is not intended to suggest that “Leases” are more significant
to newly licensed CPAs or will be tested more than the “Notes to financial
statements.” Similarly, examples provided within the task statements should not
be viewed as all-inclusive.

Content allocation

The following table summarizes the content areas and the allocation of content
tested in the FAR section of the Exam:

Overview of content areas

Area I of the FAR section blueprint covers FASBs Conceptual Framework, FASBs
standard-setting process and several different financial reporting topics. The
financial reporting syllabus include the following:

• General-purpose financial statements applicable to for-profit entities,
not-for-profit entities and employee benefit plans under the FASB Accounting
Standards Codification

• Disclosures specific to public companies including earnings per share
and segment reporting under the FASB Accounting Standards Codification
and the interim, annual and periodic filing requirements for U.S. registrants in
accordance with the rules of the U.S. SEC

• Financial statements prepared under special purpose frameworks as described
in AU-C Section 800 of the Codification of Statements on Auditing Standards
Area II of the FAR section blueprint covers the financial accounting and
reporting requirements in the FASB Accounting Standards Codification that are
applicable to select financial statement accounts.

• To the extent applicable, each group and Topic in the area is eligible for testing
within the context of both for-profit and not-for-profit entities.
– If significant accounting or reporting differences exist between for-profit
and not-for-profit entities for a given group or topic, such differences are in
representative not-for-profit tasks in the blueprint.

Area III of the FAR section blueprint covers the financial accounting and
reporting requirements for select transactions that are applicable to entities
under the FASB Accounting Standards Codification and the IASB standards.
• The testing of content under the IASB standards is limited to a separate group
titled, “Differences between IFRS and U.S. GAAP.”

• To the extent applicable, the remaining groups in the area are eligible for
testing within the context of both for-profit and not-for-profit entities.
– If significant accounting or reporting differences exist between for-profit and
not-for-profit entities, such differences are in representative not-for-profit
tasks in the blueprint.

Area IV of the FAR section blueprint covers GASBs conceptual framework as
well as the financial accounting and reporting requirements for state and local
governments under the GASB standards and interpretations.

Section assumptions

The FAR section of the test includes multiple-choice questions, task-based
simulations and research prompts. When completing questions in the FAR
section of the Exam, candidates should assume that all of the information
provided in each question is material. In addition, candidates should assume
that each question applies to a for-profit business entity reporting under U.S.
GAAP unless otherwise stated in the fact pattern for a question. For example,
questions that apply to not-for-profit entities specify the nature of these entities

as “not-for-profit” or “non-governmental, not-for-profit.” Questions that apply to
IFRS include phrases such as “under IFRS” or “according to IFRS.” Questions
that apply to the state and local governments include phrases such as “local
government,” “state,” “municipality” or “city.”

Skill allocation

The test focuses on testing higher order skills. Based on the nature of
the task, each representative task in the FAR section blueprint is assigned
a skill level. FAR section considerations related to the skill levels are
discussed below.

Skill levels

Evaluation The examination or test of problems, and
use of judgment to draw conclusions.

Analysis

The examination and study of the interrelationships
of separate areas in order to identify causes and find
evidence to support inferences.

Application The use or demonstration of knowledge, concepts
or techniques.

Remembering and
Understanding
The perception and comprehension of the
significance of an area utilizing knowledge gained
Remembering and Understanding tasks are in all four areas of the FAR blueprint.
These tasks, such as identifying transactions and financial reporting requirements,
frequently require newly licensed CPAs to demonstrate their comprehension of
accounting concepts and standards. Area IV has the highest concentration of
remembering and understanding tasks.

• Application tasks are in all four areas of the FAR blueprint. These tasks, such as
preparing journal entries and financial statements, frequently require newly licensed
CPAs to use accounting concepts and standards to measure and recognize financial
statement amounts.

• Analysis tasks are in Area I, Area II and Area III of the FAR blueprint. These tasks,
such as reconciling account balances, interpreting agreements and detecting
financial reporting discrepancies, frequently require newly licensed CPAs to
demonstrate a higher level of interpretation. Area I and Area II have the highest
concentration of analysis tasks.

The representative tasks combine both the applicable content knowledge and the
skills required in the context of the work that a newly licensed CPA would reasonably
be expected to perform. The FAR section does not test any content at the Evaluation
skill level as newly licensed CPAs are not expected to demonstrate that level of skill in
regards to the FAR content.



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AICPA Reporting PDF Questions

 

Tips for a better tax season

As CPA tax professionals gear up to prepare clients’ 2023 tax returns, they will have to address accurate changes in tax laws and rules, as they do every year. In addition to technical issues, to best prepare for the upcoming tax season’s pressures and deadlines, practitioners should assess the management of their tax practices to identify areas for potential improvement.

Although tax professionals will not have to face as many significant tax law changes with broad impacts as they had to contend with in accurate years, there are a number of technical areas to consider for 2023 returns. These include:

  • The increased age for required minimum distributions from retirement plans and IRAs;
  • The increase in maximum net earnings subject to Social Security payroll taxes;
  • The reduction in the threshold for when third-party payment settlement entities must issue Form 1099-K, Payment Card and Third Party Network Transactions;
  • The increase in the standard mileage rate for deductible business travel; and
  • 2023 annual inflation adjustments to federal income tax brackets, standard deduction amounts, gift tax exclusion amounts, earned income tax credits, alternative minimum tax exemption amounts, and other common items. (For easy reference to many such amounts, thresholds, and other handy benchmarks, print out the Filing Season Quick Guide.)
  • In addition, Mark Gallegos, CPA, partner at Porte Brown LLC and a member of the AICPA Tax Practice Management Committee, highlighted the following accurate tax law changes and concerns that are on his radar:

  • Sec. 174 research and experimentation cost capitalization, with amortization over five or 15 years. “This was an issue for 2024 returns, but the IRS issued guidance in 2023 about what should be capitalized, and more is coming,” he said. “We need to help clients understand what they need to do to capture the right costs and be compliant in this area. There are taxable events in the current year they need to be aware of.” The IRS provided interim guidance on Sept. 8, 2023, when it issued Notice 2023-63, which is effective for tax years ending after that date.
  • Decrease in bonus depreciation. Bonus depreciation at 100% ended in 2024 and is 80% for assets placed in service in 2023, Gallegos noted, the start of a gradual step-down in the percentage. Furthermore, he said, “There are states that do not recognize bonus depreciation, only MACRS [modified accelerated cost recovery system] or Sec. 179, so it has to be added back.” He noted that every client’s situation is different, and CPAs have to help clients decide which election makes the most sense for their business.
  • Changes in business meal deductions. Gallegos noted that the costs of business meals were deductible at 100% in 2021 and 2024 (if provided by a restaurant — see Sec. 274(n) (2)(D)), but the allowable percentage dropped back to 50% in 2023. “And entertainment is still not deductible,” he said. Business owners need to be aware of the effect of this change for their 2023 returns and may want to change their business practices or tax treatment of these expenditures going forward.
  • Business interest expense deduction limit under Sec. 163(j). Any business interest not deductible as a result of the limit may be carried forward to future tax years. “This is a planning issue, and clients need to understand their income projections and the limitations,” he said.
  • Employee retention credit (ERC). “The IRS halted the program for processing [new ERC] claims in September, clients are still waiting for refunds, and practitioners are in a holding pattern, which may last until 2024,” Gallegos said. “Clients that qualify and send in a claim right now may have to wait a while until they get the credit.” (See “Moratorium Imposed on New ERC Claim Processing to Curb Abuse,” JofA, Sept. 15, 2023.) He noted there are also issues related to having to amend 2020 and 2021 returns because the tax credits reduce deductions of wages in the year the credit was claimed.
  • Although the IRS has added staff, made significant progress on its backlog and become more reachable by phone, not everything is smooth sailing. “Practitioners and clients are still consistently dealing with a number of issues dating back to operations during the COVID-19 pandemic because mail was never opened, like lost tax payment checks from prior years that were never cashed and responses to tax notices that were never read,” said Michael Whitmore, CPA, shareholder at HMA CPA, PS, and vice chair of the AICPA Tax Practice Management Committee. “We’ve advised their clients to only transmit payments electronically and stop making payments by check.”

    TAX PRACTICE MANAGEMENT

    In addition to technical issues, tax professionals should evaluate the management of their tax practices to determine how to complete tasks most efficiently and ensure their teams and clients work well together. This test should take place year-round, but firms can fine-tune operations in the few weeks left before tax season officially opens.

    Following are common tax practice management issues CPA tax practitioners may encounter and suggestions on how to address them.

    DEALING WITH LIMITED RESOURCES

    “The biggest challenge for the industry in the past three to four years was having to do more with less, as there was a steady decline in the number of qualified staff, especially experienced tax professionals, along with the move to remote work as a result of the pandemic,” said Brandon Lagarde, CPA, J.D., partner at EisnerAmper, and chair of the AICPA Tax Practice Management Committee. Lagarde was a partner at Postlethwaite & Netterville prior to its acquisition by EisnerAmper in 2023. “As the workforce has gotten smaller and there are fewer qualified candidates, they had to train people on managing the workload, smooth work hours across the year, and manage client expectations in a short timeframe.”

    One way firms address limited resources is using interns. “Colleges here do not offer many tax classes, so they have an intern program that gives students a way to learn if they want to choose tax as a career before they enter the workforce,” Lagarde said.

    Gallegos agrees. “Every year, they have a great pipeline into universities to get interns to work for us in the summer and tax season,” he said. “We train them like other employees, see how they work and interact and communicate, and then they offer some of them full-time jobs at graduation.” He recommended firms look beyond big universities and consider students from smaller colleges.

    Using administrative staff can take some of the strain off tax professionals. “Some firms do not view them as important, which is a mistake, but they make them part of the process,” Gallegos said. “They interact with clients, work on electronic forms and extensions, and participate in staff meetings.”

    Whitmore’s firm also turns to administrative staff for getting and organizing client information, using scanning technology to populate tax returns, and coordinating tax return reviews by staff and managers. “We assigned one admin whose entire job is to be the ‘client concierge,’ ” he said. “She helps clients with electronic transmission, handles simple questions, holds clients’ hands, and also holds tax partners accountable. You need to identify the right person for this, with a good personality, that clients like.”

    OPTIMIZING WORKFLOW AND PROCESSES

    Although tax year 2023 is relatively stable in terms of new or radically different provisions, tax professionals have learned to be wary about the prospect of changes in law or administrative guidance implemented during tax season for the just-ended tax year, because they sometimes require not only altering their procedures going forward but also reviewing and perhaps recalculating returns already in process. Such retroactive changes also can delay the date on which the IRS will accept returns while it implements them.

    “When there are changes in laws or guidance from the IRS or Congress or state authorities, or they provide guidance or forms late, it causes compression and pushes back the tax return processing start date; this puts a tremendous burden on preparers that are just trying to report income and expenses from events that have occurred the best they can,” Lagarde said. “Tax returns get backed up while preparers are waiting, and clients may not understand this and do not want extensions.”

    And, because tax season is taxing enough even at the best of times, firms often look for ways to optimize their time and resources.

    “Our firm is process- and procedures-driven all year,” Gallegos said. “We create workflows, ways to streamline things, to make it simpler for everyone, including preparation of financial statements and returns, training people, delegating, and having proper reviews and checks and balances.”

    His tax team worked hard from January through April to complete as many returns as possible before the March 15 and April 15 deadlines.

    “August and September can be very stressful,” Gallegos said. “Extensions require more time and can be inefficient because you have to revisit what you did earlier. You also have to look at the whole picture, because S corp extensions flow through to [Form] 1040s, and you don’t want to miss quarterly estimated tax deadlines.”

    Whitmore’s firm, HMA CPA, ran a big initiative the past two years assessing both processes and personnel. Part of that project involved identifying work done by tax professionals that could be done instead by paraprofessionals or administrative staff.

    “We are using the client accounting services (CAS) group to take client trial balance data and adjust it, reconcile accounts, and make sure account roll-forwards work and amounts are classified correctly,” he said. “This is more efficient, because it enables the tax staff to have a clean trial balance to work with and spend more time consulting and doing value-added work for clients.”

    INCREASING EFFICIENCY WITH TECHNOLOGY

    Tax preparation can require a lot of manual processing, but having clients use software (like QuickBooks), moving more activities to the cloud, and outsourcing work to third parties with automation capabilities are all ways firms can use technology to ease the burden on staff.

    Client portals are being used more, and some provide for two-way communication. “Before COVID, they didn’t have any method of electronic communication with clients other than emails,” Lagarde said. “We had file sharing, but it was clunky for individuals, and they did not have a client portal that was seamlessly integrated.

    “In the past year, they used an electronic organizer, a fillable PDF, but this still requires a lot of manual effort. Some clients still like their paper organizers and don’t like electronic organizers and tax forms.”

    Many firms and their clients use portal services, such as TaxCaddy connected to SurePrep, to upload information faster and more securely.

    “I’ve found that while some clients take longer than others, the more you educate your clients, the more they learn your process for sharing information, the better the relationship,” Gallegos said.

    In the past year, Whitmore’s firm has looked at how it transmits information with clients. “We are using automation to free up time for value-add consulting,” Whitmore said.

    To do that, the firm has increased the use of secure links to transmit documents to clients and upload their information, scan returns, and for electronic signatures and payments to the IRS and the firm. “We have much less paperwork and have saved postage cost and staff and administrative time in prepping documents (printing, stapling, binding) for mailing,” he said. “Last year, 20% of their tax returns were transmitted to clients electronically. This year, the goal is 50%, and they are excited about that.”

    About the author

    Maria L. Murphy, CPA, is a senior content management consultant, accounting and auditing products, for Wolters Kluwer Tax & Accounting North America, and a freelance writer based in North Carolina. To comment on this article or to suggest an idea for another article, contact Paul Bonner at paul.bonner@aicpa-cima.com.

    LEARNING RESOURCES

    2024 Spring Tax Rewind

    Explore the dynamic and ever-changing tax terrain alongside Art Auerbach, CPA, CGMA, in the spring edition of the quarterly webcast series Tax Rewind. Duration: 2 hours (2 CPE credits) Date: May 8, 2024, 1 p.m.–3 p.m. ET

    WEBCAST

    AICPA & CIMA ENGAGE 2024

    The biggest accounting event of the year is a mega-conference featuring tracks including tax strategies for the high-income individual, advanced personal financial planning, and practitioners. June 3–6, 2024

    CONFERENCE

    For more information or to make a purchase, go to aicpa-cima.com/cpe-learning or call at 888-777-7077.

    AICPA & CIMA RESOURCES

    Articles

    “COVID-19 Changes Allowing E-Signatures Made Permanent,” JofA online, Oct. 25, 2023

    “As If They Were Never Filed’: IRS Outlines Steps to Withdraw ERC Claims,” JofA online, Oct. 19, 2023

    “How to Go Easier on Staff During Busy Season,” JofA, October 2024

    “Prepare for Next Tax Season by Looking in the Rearview Mirror,” The Tax Adviser, March 2020

    Website

    Tax Season resources landing page from AICPA & CIMA and the AICPA’s Tax Section.


    Reporting (World Heritage)

    States Parties have an obligation to regularly prepare reports about the state of conservation and the various protection measures put in place at their sites. These reports allow the World Heritage Committee to assess the conditions at the sites and, eventually, to decide on the necessity of adopting specific measures to resolve recurrent problems. One of such measures could be the inscription of a property on the List of World Heritage in Danger. States Parties to the World Heritage Convention have to provide, in accordance with Article 29 of the Convention, periodic reports on the application of the Convention and the state of conservation of World Heritage properties.

    Source(s): https://whc.unesco.org/en/118/


    KC’s ferries report: What questions remain?

    By BBC Disclosure BBC Scotland

    Nicola Sturgeon and Jim McColl on the day FMEL was announced as preferred bidder

    The construction of two CalMac ferries at the Ferguson shipyard in Port Glasgow has become one of the worst public procurement disasters of the devolution era.

    Six years late, massively overbudget and still not completed, it has blown the ferry renewal programme off course and left island communities at the mercy of an increasingly unreliable fleet.

    Initially seen as a huge boost for the shipyard, the order has been a disaster, leaving the workforce embarrassed by events beyond their control and a proud 120-year reputation tarnished.

    Two parliamentary questions and an Audit Scotland investigation have tried to get to the bottom of what's gone wrong.

    A year ago a BBC Disclosure documentary, The Great Ferries Scandal, presented new evidence gleaned from hundreds of leaked documents that suggested the procurement may have been rigged.

    The Glen Sannox is one of two delayed and overbudget dual-fuel vessels.

    The bid by FMEL, a new company led by businessman Jim McColl, was the most expensive.

    But it beat off competition from some of Europe's leading shipyards with a design, according to ferries government-owned procurement agency CMAL, that was more detailed and developed than the rest.

    The design of these vessels is at the centre of many of the delays and cost overruns that have followed.

    CMAL responded to the BBC documentary by appointing a lawyer to conduct an investigation into whether the allegations amounted to fraud.

    The BBC had not published allegations of fraud.

    A mural in Port Glasgow recalls the pride that was once felt by Ferguson Shipbuilders

    Barry Smith KC's 40-page report, published last month, found no evidence that fraud was committed, while adding this was "not the same as saying that the procurement process was conducted perfectly".

    However, some questions remain.

    CMAL's former procurement manager George McGregor - whose job it was to ensure the process was conducted fairly - has come forward, saying he gave evidence to Mr Smith's inquiry that he raised serious concerns at the time.

    And BBC Disclosure can report that the leaked dossier contains evidence which has either not been made available to Mr Smith, or does not feature in his report.

    WHAT DID THE BBC DOCUMENTARY SAY?

    FMEL was allowed to pass through the qualifying stage of the tender, despite being the only shipyard unable to supply a letter from a bank to prove they could provide a refund guarantee, which was a mandatory requirement.

    This relates to question 44 in the Pre Qualifying Questionnaire (PQQ).

    Barry Smith's investigation found that both the BBC and the Auditor General had misunderstood the "poorly-worded" questionnaire sent out by CMAL to prospective bidders.

    He concludes that while refund guarantees were a "minimum mandatory requirement" to be in place before the work started, there was no mandatory requirement to provide a letter at this stage as evidence of a firm's ability to provide these financial safeguards.

    The BBC has seen previously unpublished evidence that suggests providing the bank letter was always intended to be mandatory.

    In an email discussion between CMAL executives and a lawyer on 23/24 September 2014, the lawyer began:

    "when you are launching tenders for new vessels, it occurs to me that it would be sensible for you to require written confirmation from each tenderer's bank that it will provide a refund ensure in the required form as part of your tender process.

    "If you impose this requirement when you go out to the market, and either score it or make it pass/fail, it will be very difficult for a yard to be appointed as preferred tenderer and then say that they can't provide one."

    The procurement manager replied that she was satisfied the proposed wording of Q44 already did this, and added:

    "We would expect to reject any PQQ responder unable to provide the letter"

    The formal contract notice was published three weeks later and is still available to view online.

    Under Conditions for Participation it states: All candidates will be required to provide a reference from their bank

    These points were not reflected in Mr Smith's report. He did not address specific questions from the BBC over whether he had been provided with this information.

    In a statement he said: "If the BBC believe there is new information that I have not seen, then please share all relevant information with me and I will carefully consider it."

    FMEL had exclusive access to a key document, CalMac's Specification of Operational and Technical Requirements (SOTR), which gave it an unfair advantage over other bidders.

    This was a 424-page document produced by CalMac setting out its needs for the ferries. It was given to CMAL, who then used a design firm to distil this into a 130-page document which was sent to all the bidders.

    The BBC discovered that FMEL had exclusively obtained the longer original document, and used it as the basis for its own technical schedule. About 90% of it was cut and pasted.

    Ferguson copied a large section of its bid from a CalMac document

    Did that help FMEL? The KC's investigation concluded that all the "critical information" from the SOTR was also contained in the shorter document made available to all bidders and FMEL gained no advantage.

    Internal CMAL documents seen by the BBC suggest FMEL did gain a significant advantage, and that other bidders were marked down for failing to expand on the shorter document.

    On its technical specification submission, which carried 10% of the total score, the FMEL design scored the highest, with 8.5 (out of 10).

    After FMEL was announced as preferred bidder, the second placed yard - Poland's Remontowa - wrote a letter querying its low scores (it scored four out of 10 for this section).

    CMAL's vessels director wrote back: "The LMG [Remontowa] technical specification was evaluated as poor. The LMG submission was with the exception of a few items identical to the tender technical specification. The LMG submission did not expand in any great detail from the buyer's tender technical specification."

    He went on to explain that FMEL's technical document - the one that was almost entirely copied from CalMac's SOTR - scored higher because it was longer and had more detail.

    "The winning submission was a fuller developed technical specification containing 351 pages with full details of the scope of supply included," he wrote

    This document had been referenced in the BBC documentary. Mr Smith's report makes no mention of this exchange.

    FMEL was allowed to materially alter its design almost two months after the deadline for submissions, swapping its original Model 20 design for a lighter ship, known as Model 10. As a consequence it was able to reduce its tender price by almost £10m.

    The KC's report accepts that FMEL was allowed to revise its bid. He says this was bound to have had "some effect" on the evaluation of the bids but cannot say that it changed the outcome.

    He found no evidence of fraudulent intent and said the evaluation by the CMAL team was done "professionally and properly".

    The BBC has seen evidence, apparently not supplied to Mr Smith, that suggests this change of design, in effect, won FMEL the contract.

    Mr Smith accepts assurances from a CMAL official who was involved at the time that they genuinely believed two design variants were being offered in FMEL's original bid submitted by the 31 March deadline.

    Documents seen by the BBC show that the details of the bid - deck height, engine size, the general arrangement drawings and the price proposal - all related solely to Model 20.

    Ferguson was allowed to resubmit drawings for a much lighter ship

    Model 10 is only briefly mentioned in the original submission and does not appear to be presented as an alternative design.

    FMEL was asked for more details on Model 10 in May after a naval architect, who reviewed the bids for CMAL, observed that Model 20 was heavy and overpowered.

    Barry Smith says he did not see FMEL's response to CMAL's request for more information on Model 10. The BBC has a copy and it contains some crucial information.

    It shows how the switch to Model 10, because it was lighter and required fewer materials, allowed FMEL to significantly reduce its price proposal from £109.8m to £100.5m (it would later be reduced again to £97m).

    CMAL then scored FMEL on this revised design.

    The BBC has calculated that this reduction in price, submitted nearly eight weeks after the deadline for bid submissions, gained FMEL an extra 5.8 points in the overall exam.

    At point of award, the difference between FMEL and the second-placed design (Remontowa LMG) was 2.9 points.

    HOW HAS KC BARRY SMITH RESPONDED?

    The BBC asked Barry Smith about all the points listed above.

    He responded: "I set out in my report the terms of reference I was given; and the methodology I followed in carrying out a thorough and independent investigation.

    "I have clearly explained the basis of my findings and conclusions, including under reference to the documents I was provided with, or ingathered during the investigation.

    "My investigation was instructed by CMAL pursuant to their duties under the SPFM [Scottish Public Service Manual] to investigate allegations of fraud. If the BBC believe there is new information that I have not seen, then please share all relevant information with me and I will carefully consider it."

    HOW HAS CMAL RESPONDED?

    CMAL said in a statement: "We are not aware of any concerns raised by George McGregor to any member of the CMAL team in relation to the procurement process of 801 and 802 [Glen Sannox and Glen Rosa]

    "We can confirm that all relevant information in their possession was provided to Barry Smith KC during his investigation."

    Reporting team: Mark Daly, Calum Watson, Kevin Anderson

    Copyright 2024 BBC. All rights reserved.  The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read about their approach to external linking.

    Beta Terms By using the Beta Site, you agree that such use is at your own risk and you know that the Beta Site may include known or unknown bugs or errors, that they have no obligation to make this Beta Site available with or without charge for any period of time, nor to make it available at all, and that nothing in these Beta Terms or your use of the Beta Site creates any employment relationship between you and us. The Beta Site is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis and they make no warranty to you of any kind, express or implied.

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