Resource accounts arrive late.
Government departments may not be ready for resource accounting, the
MPs said: ‘The available evidence suggests that a large number of departments are experiencing considerable difficulties with their dry-run resource accounts.’ Delays in submitting shadow resource accounts meant the National Audit Office was able to audit only six of 53 departments’ accounts by the deadline and only 14 by the end of 1999 – four had to be qualified. In hearings, chief Secretary Andrew Smith said he has not ruled out keeping existing cash accounts going and ‘that the government will not discontinue the existing form of appropriation accounts without the agreement of this committee’. Dry-run accounts have been prepared as part of the Government Resource and Accounts Bill, which is set to bring commercial accounting methods to central government departments.