Public Sector – Prison Service tightens belt

The Prison Service is recruiting up to 30 accountants to boost financial management ahead of the service’s shift to resource accounting and budgeting.

As revealed in Accountancy Age in May, the Home Office has agreed to take on extra staff to cope with the new accounting system being introduced across central government.

In May, Prison Service managers attempted to block the recruitment plans saying they felt their positions were under threat from professionally qualified finance staff. The move threatened to derail Whitehall’s implementation of resource accounting in the Home Office.

The efficiency of financial management in prisons and the responsibilities of accountants were called into question when a private finance initiative project, codenamed Quantam, was shelved after doubts over cost and risk potential.

Advertised at more than £30,000, for jobs carrying London-weighting, the roles call for candidates who are experienced members of a CCAB body or the Chartered Institute of Secretaries. Reporting to prison governors, the posts involve providing accountancy advice and support.

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