All Government departments and offices managed within the amounts voted and allocated to them in 2011, the Comptroller and Auditor General's report for 2011 has revealed.

A total surplus of €815m was recorded for last year, today's report shows.

Out of that €114m was approved to be carried over to next year with the remaining €701m handed back to the Exchequer.

In total, departments had carried over €4 billion in unspent capital funds and other receipts from 2010.

Added to the €46.4 billion granted by the Dáíl, this brought the total appropriation to the public services for the year to €50.4 billion.

The largest allocations of Exchequer funds went to the Department of Social Protection, which received €13.65 billion, while the Health Service Executive received €13.9 billion.

The highest surplus of €282m was recorded by the Department of Agriculture which had a budget of €1.65 billion but spent over €1.4 billion. 

An Garda Síochána spent €1.57 billion, coming in €2m shy of its budget, today's report shows.

The Department of the Taoiseach posted a surplus of €3.4m out of the €22m appropriated to the Department for 2011.

Expenditure by the President's Establishment hit €2.9m last year compared to a total allocation of €3.1m.

Even the Secret Service came in under budget last year. Of the €1m allocated, €432,000 was surrendered to the Exchequer at the end of the year.

The two Departments which came closest to hitting their budget allocations were the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs and the Office of The Minister For Children. Both Departments finished the year with a surplus of just €1,000.

C&AG wants Revenue to present accounts every year

The Comptroller and Auditor General has recommended that the Revenue Commissioners should present their accounts to the Dáil every year.

At present Revenue are not legally required to do so.

In his 2011 report, the C&AG said that proper books of account have been kept by Revenue and the financial statements are in agreement with them.

Revenue collected more than €42 billion net in taxes, duties and also receipts on behalf of other departments last year.

Revenue had to repay more than €6 billion in taxes, duties and receipts on behalf of other departments for 2011.

It collected more than €13.8 billion in net income tax last year, up more than €2 billion on 2010.

It also collected over €9.7 billion in VAT, and €3.5 billion in Corporation tax and €1.3 billion in stamp duties last year.

It had to make repayments in the same period of €2.6 billion in VAT, €2.597 billion in income tax and €948m in corporation tax.

In terms of receipts on behalf of other departments and agencies, it received €7.8 billion from the Department of Social Protection which related to PRSI contributions and the health levy.

A total of €16m was collected from the Department of Environment in relation to levy on plastic bags.

Last year's State income down 21% on 2007

The 2011 report from the Comptroller and Auditor General shows the State had total income of €38.7 billion last year, but spent €64.2 billion. This lead to a deficit of €25 billion.

Last year's state income was up by nearly €3 billion on last year but 21% down on 2007.

The report, which was published today, said that by the middle of 2012, the State had a total investment of €65 billion in AIB, Permanent TSB, Irish Bank Resolution Corporation and Bank of Ireland. As a result, the State owns all or most of the first three institutions and 15% of Bank of Ireland.

It also said the State has so far had a €4.3 billion return on its banking investments, which comprised of €0.9 billion from the banks, €3.4 billion in fees for the liability guarantee scheme and €1.1 billion in dividends which was payable in ordinary shares.

The C&AG report states that the value of the National Pension Reserve Fund fund was €13.4 billion at the end of 2011, a decrease of €9.3 billion on 2010. The fall is due to the Minister of Finance taking €1 billion from the fund, and €10 billion going for investment in AIB and Bank of Ireland under the EU/IMF programme.

The fund now has nearly €21 billion invested in the two banks, but the value of that has fallen to €8 billion - which represents a loss of nearly 40%.

Public procurement spending down from last year

The Comptroller and Auditor General has criticised the measurement of savings from centralised purchasing of goods and services for the state.

The total spend on public procurement was last year was €13.1 billion - down from €15.1 billion in the preceding year.

The National Procurement Service estimated total savings estimated from centralised procurement came to €46.5m, with a €78m saving forecast for 2012.

However, the C&AG said that based on four areas of procurement reviewed, the savings identified by the NPS were not a reliable or suitable performance measure.

He said there should be clearly defined consistent methodologies to measures savings and costs.

Savings reported should only include those that have materialised, not anticipated or potential future savings, he added.

The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform indicated that state spending on goods and services last year came to €8.6 billion - down from €9.1 billion in 2010.

A further €4.5 billion was spent on capital works - though that fell from €6 billion in the preceding year.

The health sector accounted for €4.5 billion, down from €4.6 billion in 2010.

Central government accounted for €1.7 billion, down from €2 billion in 2010.

Local government expenditure on goods and services came to €1.2 billion - down from €1.6 billion in 2010.

Education spending on goods and services came to €1.2 billion - up from €900m in 2010.

With effect from September 2012, public bodies will be required to procure certain commonly used goods and services under NPS frameworks - including energy, stationery, vehicles and advertising.

Among items purchased centrally were electricity (€112m), natural gas (€34m), fuel chargecards (€11m), advertising (€3m), janitorial supplies (€2m), camouflage army uniforms (€2m), stationery (€2m), furniture (€1m), garda uniforms (€1m), and parliamentary printing (€1m).

Big fall in prosecutions against EU VAT cases

The C&AG report shows that there has been a dramatic fall in the number of prosecutions taken by the Revenue Commissioners against companies failing to file VAT returns related to the sale of goods elsewhere in the European Union.

In 2007 there were 43 prosecutions for failing to file returns, with fines totalling €74,000 imposed. By 2009 that had fallen to 22 prosecutions with fines of €44,000. For the next two years, prosecutions were suspended. But they have now resumed.

The problem for Revenue in trying to detect VAT fraud is that only a little over half of Irish traders submit the intra-community VAT returns on time. Up to a fifth of returns are still not filed two months after the due date, when they become liable for prosecution. The current penalty is a fine of €4,000.