CIPFA denies interest in standard-setting role despite Westminster rumours

The move came as rumours circulated at Westminster that the institute was being lined up to take on the role under an amendment to the Government Resources and Accounts Bill currently going through the House of Commons.

Although ministers have firmly rejected the Tory amendments, insiders believe they could be resurrected once the Bill reaches the Lords.

Vernon Sore, CIPFA’s policy and technical director, said the institute was not in a position to take on the burden of setting standards. ‘We are happy to be part of the process, and supply some technical input,’ he said, adding that he did not think the institute’s current role would change.

CIPFA currently provides guidance to local government on applying standards set by the Accounting Standards Board. The treasury currently fulfills that role for central government.

Conservative treasury spokesman, Oliver Letwin, said it was essential the Treasury’s role was transferred to an independent body to ensure there could be no political manipulation.

The Tories have already launched their own National Accounts Commission under Sir Bryan Carsberg, secretary-general of the International Accounting Standards Committee, to prepare guidelines for producing statements of national accounting practice.

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