The National Audit Office could only issue a disclaimer against the accounts, as they were submitted after the 30 November cut-off date.
The news followed the chancellor’s Budget announcement that tens of thousands of civil service posts would go as part of efficiency cuts across Whitehall departments.
This week, the NAO reminded government that ‘robust, accurate and timely’ financial information was ‘fundamental’ to improved financial planning. The report said faster closing should be an integral part of the move to ‘improve financial management’.
The Cabinet Office is one of 10 departments that failed to submit its accounts on time. It blamed a shortage of accountants and ‘complex’ issues that it needed more time to resolve.
Other accounts that were qualified came from the Department of Work and Pensions, the Ministry of Defence, the Home Office and the Office of the Rail Regulator.
An NAO statement warned: ‘Some departments still view the accounts production process as merely a year-end activity, rather than something that underpins effective in-year financial management and resource planning’.
The NAO’s comments will put immense pressure on Jerry Page, finance director at the Cabinet Office, and his opposite numbers, William Nye at the Home Office and Trevor Woolley at the MoD, to run their departments more effectively.
The Cabinet Office launched the efficiency drive last year with a consultation paper and the appointment of Sir Peter Gershon, tasked with finding savings in Whitehall.
The second largest improvement in ‘significant’ levels of financial distress since the EU Referendum was in professional services, found research from Begbies Traynor
Two new audit partners have been appointed at the firm BDO in its audit practice following continued growth and investment
Investment in people, tech and businesses impacts on EY's profit per partner figure
If businesses do not take cyber security seriously in their business planning regulators may do it for them, the ICAEW has warned