Whitehall picks up on resource accounting

For the years 1999/2000 just 12 Whitehall departments had their accounts qualified, compared with 30 in 1998/1999.

In its resource accounting report Commons watchdog, the Public Accounts Committee said ‘sufficient progress’ had been made ‘in the implementation of resource accounting’.

But it also said 27 government departments had not filed their 1999/2000 by the eight-month deadline.

Singled out were the Treasury, which had its accounts qualified for the second successive time, the Home Office and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The PAC said: ‘The Treasury needs to ensure that residual problems are resolved in time for 2001-02 accounts, to ensure full accountability to Parliament under the new system of Supply. ‘

And it said ‘many departments still had a long way to go in making full use of resource-based financial management information as part of the day-to-day decision making process’.

The resource accounting method is designed to ensure the full economic costs of government activity are measured in a way similar to the private sector by including non-cash costs and measuring the full cost of holding and using assets.

As part of the process, the government has been forced to value all its assets.

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