The findings, which were reported to parliament by head of the National Audit Office, Sir John Bourn, recommended urgent action to deal with ‘persistent weaknesses in the commission’s accounting systems, particularly the lack of reliable information on the completeness of assets held’.
The court did however note that progress had been made by the commission in implementing its strategy of financial management reforms. It welcomed declarations by the commission’s directors generals on the reliability of the financial controls in their areas, although noting that there were still issues of inconsistency to be resolved.
The report also noted that the commission will struggle to meet its plan to introduce full accruals accounting by the start of 2005. It claimed the commission does not have a comprehensive enough framework or an integrated computerised accounting system capable of automatically generating all the figures required for accruals accounting.
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