Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee

Inquiry into Government accounts

Inquiry status: open

Accepting written submissions; the deadline is 29 April 2016

Scope of the inquiry

This inquiry examines the format and utility of monthly management accounts used by Ministers, Permanent Secretaries and Departmental Boards, and the Departmental Accounts published for Parliament and the public. The House of Commons and its Committees have not expressed a view of the accounts submitted to them by the Government since 2009. It is not clear that they are of any use to Select Committees, or to the public, in holding the Government to account. Despite this, the Government spends considerable amounts of money in producing and auditing them. Yet the published accounts are used by Ministers more to promote the Government’s own achievements, than to provide useful tables of figures and information. Numerous reviews over the last decade have identified poor management information and management accounts as a factor in poor decision making within Departments.

The Committee’s inquiry is intended to complement the Procedure Committee’s current inquiry into the Scrutiny of the Government’s supply estimate and with inquiries conducted by the Committee for Public Accounts and the National Audit Office into the accountability of the civil service.

Terms of reference: Inquiry into Government accounts Send a written submission

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