Magazine article Public Finance

Whitehall Slow to Have Qualified FDs, Says NAO

Magazine article Public Finance

Whitehall Slow to Have Qualified FDs, Says NAO

Article excerpt

Six central government departments, spending a total of more than ?45bn, do not have a professionally qualified finance director on the board, more than a year after a Treasury deadline.

The National Audit Office found that management of central government financial resources expected to grow to ?678bn a year by 2010/1 1 - had improved since 2003.

But the watchdog revealed that the six departments, which include the Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development, and account for 8% of all central government spending, failed to meet the Treasury requirement that they have a qualified finance director on the board by December 2006.

The NAO report, Managing financial resources to deliver better public services, published on February 20, also warns that just 40% of departments provide a full analysis of the financial implications of policy proposals to ministers or board members.

The report adds that financial matters do not automatically feature' in performance assessment criteria for permanent secretaries and other senior civil servants. The NAO found no improvement in departments' forecasting of how much money they need each year, particularly in relation to capital spending. …

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