NAO forced to qualify Commons accounts

The National Audit Office has been forced to qualify the accounts of the
House of Commons for the last financial year after members of parliament
overspent by nearly £1m on computers, stationery and paperclips.

In a note to the accounts, Sir John Bourn, the auditor-general, wrote:
‘Claims for reimbursement of costs by Members of Parliament were some £946,000
higher than projected.’

As a result he was forced for the first time to ‘qualify’ the Commons
accounts — refusing to sign them off and forcing Parliament to vote through the
additional costs.

On average, MPS overspent by £1,500 on running their office for the financial
year 2005-6 than expected.

The Commons Department of Finance and Administration has launched an
investigation into the matter, The Guardian reported.

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