Magazine article Public Finance

Pay-Offs to Acas Staff Are 'In Breach of Treasury Guidance'

Magazine article Public Finance

Pay-Offs to Acas Staff Are 'In Breach of Treasury Guidance'

Article excerpt

Sir John Bourn, the head of the National Audit Office, has slated the government's conciliation and arbitration service for making unauthorised severance payments to six public servants.

Bourn this week qualified his opinion on the regularity of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service's 2004/05 annual accounts following the discovery of a total of £56,000 paid to staff who had had their contracts terminated as part of a rationalisation plan. The payments breached Treasury guidance on settlements.

Bourn is required to provide his opinion on whether expenditure at government bodies has been undertaken in the way intended by Parliament.

Despite providing an unqualified opinion on the truth and fairness of Acas's submission, he has refused to approve their regularity.

The NAO discovered that four Acas officials received payments to settle employment tribunal cases involving claims of unfair dismissal and Other breaches of employment law'. …

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