New standard setter urged for government accounts

The new body, dubbed the National Accounts Commission, would set standards with the aim of producing independently verified consolidated accounts for central government.

Authored by Sir Bryan Carlsberg, currently secretary general of the International Accounting Standards Committee, the report comes in the wake of controversy surrounding the passing of the Government Resource and Accounts Act.

Sir Bryan said the conclusions had been reached ‘without regard to party political considerations’ and were intended to secure ‘high quality and transparent financial reporting by the government.’

Michael Portillo, who established the shadow body, said the Tories had pledged to set up a new accounts commission as part of the party’s economic policy.

He said: ‘It will be plain that a Conservative chancellor will subject himself to a transparent presentation of his policies.’

The shadow commission is proposing that government accounts should show liabilities, including the basic state pension; set out clear rules for accounting for PFI and include include within the accounts all public bodies controlled by government.

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