In an unusual move the Government had scheduled two sessions of the Bill’s standing committee yesterday to hurry it through, but they were persuaded to adjourn until the Public Accounts Committee had had time to grill the chief secretary at a meeting tonight.
David Davis, chairman of the PAC, and member of the standing committee, convinced Government whips that time was needed to question the chief secretary and in light of answers possibly revise amendments to the Bill.Davis said: ‘They’re in a hurry to get the Bill through. They were being a bit silly.’
The Resource and Accounts Bill intends to bring commercial accounting practices to government departments and has already been heavily criticised in a report published by the PAC.
It claims the Bill fails to cover billions of pounds of government spending and amounts to a failure to protect the democratic rights of Parliament.In the report David Davis said:’Our system of public finance and accountability is the envy of the world and this Bill goes to its heart. The Bill does nothing to strengthen Parliament’s democratic position.’
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