ONS and Treasury face accounts inquiry
The Statistics Commission is to investigate the Office of National Statistics and the Treasury, following accusations of 'Enron-style' accounting from the opposition.
The move comes after the ONS announced that £9bn of guarantees from the government for loans to Network Rail – set to acquire beleaguered Railtrack – would be included as part of the Treasury’s accounts.
The Statistics Commission will meet in two weeks to discuss the off-balance sheet accounting and the controversial decision to classify Network Rail as a private company.
The National Audit Office has opposed Network Rail’s classification as a private sector company, saying the rail company should be classified as a subsidiary of the Strategic Rail Authority, which would make it a public company.