Internal probe after taxman hires his wife

The accounts were qualified by the
National Audit Office,
after lawyers’ fees were badly accounted for. The NAO also noted that one of the
body’s senior officials was involved in hiring his wife as an adviser to the

The department declined to say what the investigation was about this week,
but parliamentary sources suggested it concerned the payment to the chief
operating officer, Dave Partridge’s wife’s company.

She earned £27,775 (excluding VAT) for the work.

NAO staff had indicated that they regarded the appointment as ‘novel and
contentious,’ though it subsequently received the seal of approval from Treasury
accounting experts.

Departmental officials were set to be grilled by the Public Accounts
Committee earlier this week, but the meeting was delayed until the autumn due to
the investigation.

A spokeswoman for the department said: ‘There’s an investigation ongoing, and
there was not much point in doing the PAC.’

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