Bourn refuses to sign off government accounts
The integrity of the government's new accounting system is being thrown in to doubt by a long-running dispute between the National Audit Office and the Treasury.
Sir John Bourn, head of the NAO, still refuses to sign off the government’s new accounting methods until Network Rail’s £21bn are fully disclosed, the Daily Telegraph reported today.
The loan is in the form of government guarantees.
The Office of National Statistics has allowed the chancellor to exclude the debts from his Red Book, allowing him to keep government debt low, on paper at least.
According to the paper, the Treasury is happy to include the debt in the new Whole of Government Accounts, but will not let it show in Brown’s red book.