The clearest possible signals emerged that NHS accounts would be unqualified despite some obstacles remaining still to be overcome.
That said, one of the major stumbling blocks, delays in processing prescriptions at the Prescription Pricing Authority, seem to be near solution as it became clear the Audit Commission was willing to accept compromise proposals.
The Commission is now said to be happy with a ‘degree of estimation’ when health authorities work out their prescription expenditure.
Meanwhile KPMG has launched into the Audit Commission and its arms-length agency District Audit.
The Big Five claims the amount of work done by District Audit for the Commission should be cut by and third and the market opened up to private firms.
KPMG also claims the future of public sector audit is under threat because District Audit does not train enough people, preferring instead to maximise income by using short-term contract workers, some of whom come from overseas.