Accountability for Public Money - Progress Report
HC 1503, Seventy-ninth Report of Session 2010-12 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence
- House of Commons - Committee of Public Accounts
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
The report 'Accountability for Public Money - Progress Report (HC 1503)' is a follow-up to the Committee's report on Accountability for Public Money (see below), an issue at the core of the relationship between Parliament and Government.
Accounting Officers remain accountable to Parliament for funds voted to their departments, but the policy intention is that local bodies will have significant discretion over the services they deliver.
In the Government's response 'Accountability: Adapting to Decentralisation', Sir Bob Kerslake drew a distinction between those services that Government delivers directly and those that it may fund, but are delivered in more decentralised arrangements. He proposed that Accounting Officers set out 'Accountability System Statements', to detail the arrangements they have in place to provide assurance about the probity and value for money of the funds that are spent through devolved systems. All departments are expected to produce Statements by summer 2012.
Departments have made a genuine effort to develop arrangements which reconcile accountability and localism, but the Statements so far are unwieldy and considerably more needs to be done to improve their clarity, consistency and completeness.
There is concern that accountability frameworks must drive value for money and be sufficiently robust to address the failures of service providers. Departments are placing increasing reliance on market mechanisms, such as user choice, to drive up performance and value for money, but there are limits to what these mechanisms can achieve.
The Treasury needs to take ownership of the system and ensure that the Comptroller and Auditor General has the necessary powers and rights of access to examine the value for money of funds spent through devolved systems.
|Format||Paperback||Published||17 Apr 2012|
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