The Department for Communities and Local Government ‘cannot accurately
report’ expenditure against its strategic objectives and must improve the
quality of its financial management, according to the National Audit Office.
In its review of the department, which looks after improving local life and
has a £34bn budget, the NAO found it could not easily identify or understand the
impact of funding decisions on performance and outcomes.
It has improved its business planning and decision-making recently and has
improved its financial management, but there are still improvements to be made,
the NAO said.
More financially experienced staff were required at the department, as well
as further training for existing employees.
The department does not meet the Treasury’s standard to provide in-year
reports to the departmental board within 10 days of the month end.
But the NAO gave the accounts the all-clear and were unqualified, unlike
yesterday – such as the Treasury, HM Revenue & Customs and the
Ministry of Defence.
‘The department rightly takes financial management seriously and is making
improvements,’ said NAO head Amyas Morse.
‘However, it has more to do. As a priority, it must identify and understand
the gaps in its financial and business management skills and set about filling
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