PracticeAccounting FirmsICAS wants MPs held accountable

ICAS wants MPs held accountable

Politicians need to be held more accountable for the promised outcomes in the published accounts of public sector bodies, according to a new study.

Link: ICAS boss makes plea to institutes

The research, published by the ICAS public sector taskforce, also said that such accounts should aim to focus more on whether real results have been achieved rather than just on the numbers.

The paper could cast further doubt on the wisdom of allowing foundations hospitals to appoint their own private auditors, although the proposals are currently limited to trusts in England and Wales only.

‘Politicians often make bland commitments, such as improving the health of the nation, and then set targets in specific areas such as bringing waiting lists down,’ said David Wood, deputy director of accounting and audit at ICAS. ‘We need to get back to the original objective of whether this target does indeed improve the health of the nation,’ he continued.

The report recommends that annual reports focus on key aspects of service performance and broader issues, with more detailed information being made available elsewhere, and the report should reflect the true cost of this service provision.

It also suggests that an operating and financial review be included in the annual report to discuss key aspects underlying the financial statements and the body’s ability to continue to provide the required level of service provision into the future.

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