Accounts slammed as MPs rest

Parliament reverberated to the sounds of reports criticising accounts and
accounting systems this week as they were rushed out before MPs headed off for
their summer break.

The Commons public accounts committee turned on Home Office accounts for its
financial control and its failure to produce accounts on time. PAC chairman
Edward Leigh said: ‘It has failed in its obligation to present to parliament
properly audited financial accounts.’

Though Whitehall departments usually take the brunt of financial criticism,
the House of Commons itself came under pressure after the National Audit Office
qualified the accounts which cover MPs’ salaries and expenses.

Though the accounts represented a true and fair view they also saw
overspending of £900,000.

NAO chief Sir John Bourn said that a proposal had been made for a special
vote in parliament for funds to cover the cost.

The qualification is thought to be serious because of the example set to
government departments and quangos, which struggle to produce acceptable
accounts on time.

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