PracticeAuditBourn retirement splits MP opinion

Bourn retirement splits MP opinion

Austin Mitchell mourns Sir John Bourn decision to step down as auditor general, describing his retirement as a 'serious loss', but others welcome his departure

A firebrand MP has come out in defence of Sir John Bourn following his
decision to retire.

Austin Mitchell , a veteran member of the Public Accounts Committee said: ‘He
is a devoted public servant who has done a splendid job. His departure will be a
serious loss to us.’

Mitchell said the lack of suitable corporate governance system meant that Sir
John’s expenses issue was an ‘accident’ waiting to happen, adding: ‘I think it
was a cause for criticism but not for resignation, but he is a proud man.’

Other MPs have not been so charitable. Liberal Democrat Norman Baker said:
‘Sir John Bourn has made the correct decision and he should be thanked for the
work he has done. But the next incumbent cannot end up in a position where he
embarrasses the National Audit Office through expenses claims and perceived
conflicts of interest.’

Sir John is due to be grilled by MPs from the Public Accounts Committee on
Monday over how the current furore might have compromised the body’s work.

Earlier today, Sir John said that a
conflict
of interest
which is set to arise as the Companies Act comes into force was
the reason for his departure.

Further reading:

NAO
chief accused of ‘exploiting public purse’

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