Paymaster general Dawn Primarolo is to be asked why a report on the possibility of merging Customs & Excise with the Inland Revenue cannot be shown to the Commons Treasury Select Committee. Committee chairman Sir Michael Spicer said he had written to Primarolo requesting the report which contains evidence regarding a merger. Dame Valerie Strachan, chairman of the Customs Board of Commissioners, told the Treasury committee at the end of November that the report could not be handed over because it was commissioned by a previous government. She revealed details of its conclusions, that a merger could not be ruled out but would entail short-term costs likely to outweigh efficiencies, yet maintained that evidence for the findings could not be handed to the committee. Sir Michael sent the letter following a sitting of the committee in late December and said it was determined to see what was in the document. ‘It’s important because Customs has based much of their response to us on this report,’ he said. It is understood the paymaster general would not have considered the letter until after Christmas but a spokesman said she would reply early in the New Year. Controversy has dogged the report since Dame Valerie, who will end her tenure as head of Customs on 9 January, appeared before the committee. On that occasion committee member Jim Cousins told her: ‘My concerns about the running of the agency are rather greater at the end of these questions than they were at the beginning.’ Analysis, page 5.
New growth opportunities in Aberdeen, North East Scotland, are being invested in by Grant Thornton
If businesses do not take cyber security seriously in their business planning regulators may do it for them, the ICAEW has warned
The Financial Reporting Council has issued guidance regarding the annual reporting of 1,200 large and smaller listed companies. The letter highlighted the key issues and improvements that can be made in the 2016 reporting season
Deloitte's north-west Europe foray; BDO, Smith & Williamson investment paths; Shelley Stock Hutter; and Wilkins Kennedy discussed by editor Kevin Reed on our Friday Afternoon Live broadcast