A statement from the Rt Hon Margaret Hodge MP, Chair of the Committee of Public Accounts:
The Department’s failure to give an accurate picture of the value of assets, such and land and buildings, held by the BBC has resulted in its accounts being qualified. What is even more concerning is that the magnitude of this inaccuracy is likely to be significant, with the Department not having taken account of differences in the way the Department and the BBC's accounts are prepared.
Preparing an accurate set of departmental accounts should be an entirely stock and routine process. It is, therefore, unacceptable that the Department was unable to deliver its accounts on time. Despite an extension, I am astonished that the Department was still incapable of producing its accounts without buying in external consultants. My concern is that these are the marks of a department with a feeble grip on the complexities of its own finances. This needs to dramatically improve in the future if Parliament is to have confidence that the Department has control over its books.