Public Sector – NAO secures Camelot audit

The National Audit Office scored a long-awaited victory after the government agreed to allow access to lottery operator Camelot’s books and records.

The move was urged by the Public Accounts Committee after the NAO was unable to express an opinion on whether the amounts paid into the National Lottery Distribution ‘good causes’ Fund were correct, due to a lack of access to Camelot’s records.

The NAO also found that Oflot, the industry regulator, failed to carry out 11 of the 21 compliance programmes designed to check that licence conditions were being complied with.

The move will allow the NAO unprecedented access to a network of companies that administer or receive considerable public subsidies. The watchdog said it is allowed access to some non-departmental bodies but not others.

‘What we want is some consistency. We will continue to make the case for the right to do our job properly,’ said an NAO spokeswoman.

But Camelot said it was already audited by Oflot, its own internal auditors Coopers & Lybrand and Customs & Excise, and the weekly draw was audited by Price Waterhouse.

‘We’re already crawling with auditors, why can’t one watchdog take the word of another?’, said a Camelot spokesman. ‘We’re also concerned about the potential administrative burdens it will entail.’

Related reading