Whole of government accounts 2009-10: sixty-seventh report of session 2010-12, report, together with formal minutes, oral and written evidence

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The Stationery Office, Feb 7, 2012 - Business & Economics - 36 pages
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In November 2011, HM Treasury published the first audited Whole of Government Accounts (WGA), covering the year 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010 (HC 1601, ISBN 9780102975192). The Committee welcomes this major step forward in improving transparency and accountability and highlights some of the information it contains: at 31 March 2010 the government's public service pensions liability was around 1,132 billion; the present value of its future commitments under PFI schemes was 131.5 billion; the government wrote off 10.9 billion in unpaid taxes and expected to have to pay 15.7 billion for outstanding clinical negligence claims; cost of future nuclear decommissioning (56.7 billion); the need for stronger accountability systems to secure effective responsibility for cost and value for money at local levels - academies, Free Schools, Foundation Trusts and GP consortia. But the WGA will only serve its purpose- showing what the government owns, owes, spends and receives - if it is timely and robust. The figures in the first audited WGA are too dated because Treasury took 20 months to prepare and publish the report. Treasury must address the issues that led the Comptroller and Auditor General to qualify his audit opinion on the WGA 2009-10. A key issue is Treasury's decision to deviate from accounting standards, by omitting Network Rail, the publicly owned banks, and various other government-controlled or owned bodies from the WGA. The Committee sets out a set of principles that future accounts should follow.

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