Regulatory Reform Committee

Session 2003-04        10 March 2004

Proposal for the Regulatory Reform (National Health Service Charitable Trust Accounts and Audit)

The Government laid this proposal for a regulatory reform order before Parliament on 7 January 2004 under the procedure laid down by the Regulatory Reform Act 2001. The purpose of the proposal is to remove an anomaly in existing legislation whereby NHS charitable bodies in England and Wales are obliged to prepare two separate sets of accounts: one, audited by the Audit Commission, for submission to the Department of Health, and another for submission to the Charity Commission. The Department proposes to remove the existing burden on NHS charities whereby they are required to submit audited accounts to the Department of Health for summarisation and eventual presentation to Parliament with the NHS Summarised Accounts. It proposes that the requirement on NHS charities in England and Wales to submit audited accounts to the Charity Commission should continue, with certain modifications to provide for continued Audit Commission scrutiny and for an examination, rather than an audit, of certain NHS charity accounts.

The Committee has considered this proposal in accordance with the criteria laid down in the Committee's Standing Order. On the evidence before it, the Committee intends to recommend that a draft order in the same form as the proposal be laid before the House.

The Committee's full report will be published as its Fifth Report of the current Session, at 2.00 pm on 16 March. It will be available from all Stationery Office outlets (Ref HC 438).

The text of the report will also be available on the Committee's website from 3.30 pm on the day of publication. (