Spys’ accounting weaknesses uncovered

Spys' accounting weaknesses uncovered

Accounting 'weaknesses' have been found in the financial controlsapplied to Britain's 007s and spooks - but they won't give details.

The Security and Intelligence Services financial statement for 2000-01, whichgives a bald outline of their total spending, stated the weaknesses were ‘in areas of procurement and contract and asset management’ and that they were ‘being addressed in 2001-02’.

Comptroller and Auditor General Sir John Bourn, saw greater details. He qualified his opinion of secret resource accounts for Governmentcommunications HQ, ‘because I was unable to obtain all the information andexplanations that I considered necessary regarding the valuation of fixedassets and related figures in the accounts’.

He gave details in a report which he showed to Public Accounts CommitteeChairman Edward Leigh, but which will never be seen by anyone else under secrecy conventions.

Spending by modern-day 007’s and their like, shot up by 20% from £761 million in 1999-2000 to £827 million in 2000-01.

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