New audit body to oversee MPs’ expense claims

A new auditing body, independent of the House of Commons staff who currently
check MPs’ claims, will be announced today by the House of Commons Commission,
the Daily Telegraph reported.

The House authorities hope the new body will help reassure voters about MPs’
use of their expenses, the newspaper said.

However, the rules governing what MPs can and cannot claim will not be
changed, meaning the new audit body may not make a significant difference to
what is claimed, the Telegraph said.

The auditing plan was announced by Sir Stuart Bell, a Labour MP who sits on
the Commission.

‘We are going to some length to meet the public’s anxiety and give them
reassurance,’ the paper quoted Sir Stuart as saying. The new unit will ‘reassure
the public that we do take fully into account their concerns’.

The audit body will be staffed by ‘skilled people from outside parliament’,
Sir Stuart said. Once the unit is established, he hoped it will be ‘hived off’
to the private sector.

Read the full story:

expenses to be audited by £600,000 special independent unit

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