Magazine article Public Finance

Key Liverpool Accountants Head South

Magazine article Public Finance

Key Liverpool Accountants Head South

Article excerpt

The Home Office is set to move a key accounting unit from Liverpool to its London headquarters to help prevent a repeat of the 'spectacular' financial errors unearthed by auditors this week.

Public Finance has learnt that up to 16 posts will be transferred from the Northwest to the Home Office's building in Westminster, following a joint decision by the department's new finance director, Helen Kilpatrick, and its permanent secretary.

A Home Office source said the decision would strengthen the departments core finance function 'at its very centre'.

Private sector accountants have also been asked to review the department's accounting practices 'to establish whether any additional steps need to be taken.

The moves follow a stinging attack this week from the National Audit Office, which said that the Home Office's annual accounts for 2004/05 were so late and in such a mess that auditors were unable to determine if they were correct.

The Home Office has become the first department for many years to suffer the indignity of being told that auditors could not reach an opinion on the truth and fairness' of its accounts, which were supposed to outline how the department's annual £13bn budget was spent. …

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