MoD accounts out of the firing line

MoD accounts out of the firing line

The Ministry of Defence publishes its third set of unqualified accounts in a row – several months earlier than usual

The triumph for MoD accountants comes after six years of accounting failures
following the introduction of resource accounts. Defence chiefs had struggled
with some of the more difficult aspects of resource accounting such as the idea
that scrapping Harrier aircraft early to save cash actually pushed the
department deeper into the red because it required more rapid writing-off of the
aircraft.

The advance in the timetable follows a push by the Treasury to secure
publication of all government accounts before parliament’s summer recess.

The Home Office has succeeded the MoD as the department in deepest trouble
over its accounts followed by the Foreign Office.

Last month the Home Office permanent secretary, Sir David Normington, told
the Commons public accounts committee that it would take time to rectify. ‘It is
hard to ensure we can provide proper accounts for 2005-06,’ he said.

John Reid was challenged to set a date for the publication of accounts by
Liberal Democrat home affairs spokeswoman Lynne Featherstone.

Meanwhile, the Treasury said the Whole of Government Accounts programme ‘is
providing an additional and valuable perspective on the public finances’.

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