News in brief.

The National Audit Office is conducting a study examining the avoidance of value added tax. Looking at the measures Customs & Excise is using to tackle the problem, the study is expected to be completed by summer 2001. The NAO, led by comptroller and audit general Sir John Bourn (left), will examine how Customs decides what constitutes avoidance, how it measures avoidance, the ways it has tried to counter avoidance and the effects of these measures.

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