Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee

Inquiry into Government accounts

Inquiry status: Concluded

Report published 27 April 2017.

All Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee inquiries will close on the dissolution of Parliament on 3 May 2017.

Scope of the inquiry

The report concerns the published Departmental Annual Reports and Accounts (designed for Parliament and the public) and the Management Accounts (designed for the use of Ministers and officials in managing their Departments).

In most cases Annual Reports and Accounts appear to be currently failing in their purpose of explaining to the public and Parliament the effectiveness of Government spending.

In 2015–16, the Treasury instructed Departments to adopt a new framework for their Annual Reports and Accounts: whilst we welcome this framework, we do not believe it goes far enough. It is disappointing that the Treasury have not monitored any changes in the way that accounts have been used since their reforms of 2015–16.

The Treasury should monitor the use of accounts to identify good practice.

The Committee identifies that the published Annual Report and Accounts should provide information about value for money and commitments made to Parliament in a credible way.

Terms of reference: Inquiry into Government accounts

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