PracticeAuditTreasury central accounting efforts slammed

Treasury central accounting efforts slammed

The Treasury has come under fire over the time taken using the reformed resource accounts of government departments and public bodies to produce the first ever set of central government accounts.

Link: Whitehall struggles with resource accounts

The process, involving dry runs using data for 2001/2002 and 2002/2003, is being overseen by Ian Carruthers, a chartered accountant, and head of the Whole of Government Accounts Programme, under a board, which includes Sir Andrew Lickierman, the head of government accounts.

Liberal Democrat shadow treasurer minister Norman Lamb is writing to economic secretary David Healey asking why the process is taking so long.

Healey reported the government is working towards publication of figures using dry runs for 2001/2002 and the current financial year (2002/2003) before going live next year (2003/2004) in reply to a question he put down in the Commons.

He said: ‘They seem to be making very heavy weather of this process and I am keen everything possible should be done to speed things up.’

Carruthers has sent departmental consolidation managers a formal letter from the Treasury ‘reminding’ them of agreed deadlines for making progress.

The intention was revealed in the last Treasury annual report which gave 2005/2006 as the date for publishing a fully-audited Whole of Government Account based on Generally Accepted Accounting Practice and covering the whole of the UK public sector.

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