Bourn’s bedtime stories

TS has been flicking through Sir John Bourn’s new book,Public
sector auditing: is it value for money? (TS can’t sleep, that’s all).

We feel duty bound to point out first of all that the book
is the product of many years’ experience, and anyone with a key interest in
public sector auditing should obviously read it.

But it reads a little bit like an National Audit Office
report, all tables and graphs and outcomes and processes. Give us some
anecdotes, Sir John. Keep gossip columnists interested!

There’s no chapter on auditor general’s expenses, either. Why
so coy?

The most interesting bit, for us, was Sir John’s rude joke
about auditors. To make criticism of bureaucrats effective, Sir John says, it
must be constructive. ‘[This] requires auditors to have an understanding of
human behaviour – a skill not typically associated with the audit profession.’

Ouch! That’s not very constructive either Sir J.

Related reading