Public Accounts Commission Ninth Report


THE PUBLIC ACCOUNTS COMMISSION

Ninth Report

Introduction

1. This is the Ninth Report made to the House of Commons since the establishment of the Public Accounts Commission under the National Audit Act 1983. The Report describes the work of the Commission in the exercise of its functions since its last Report in July 1996.[1]

2. The Commission has a membership of nine. Two of the members - the Leader of the House of Commons and the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) - are ex officio members. The remainder are appointed by the House of Commons.

3. The membership of the Commission has changed substantially in the two years since the Commission's last Report. The Rt Hon Sir Peter Hordern, one of the original members of the Commission appointed in 1984, resigned from the Commission in November 1996. He was replaced by the Rt Hon Sir Terence Higgins[2], another founder member of the Commission, who served as Chairman until he retired from the House of Commons at the Election. The work done by a Chairman of the Public Accounts Commission is unobtrusive but necessary and we are grateful to both Sir Peter and Sir Terence for all they did to ensure the efficient and effective operation of the Commission during their Chairmanships.

4. The new members of the Commission were approved by the House of Commons on 6 June 1997. The Leader of the House became a member on her appointment to that post in May 1997 and the Chairman of the PAC joined the Commission on 31 July. The current membership of the Commission is as follows:

    Mr Roy Beggs

    Mr Geoffrey Clifton-Brown

    Mr Austin Mitchell

    Mr William O'Brien

    Rt Hon Robert Sheldon

    Mr Andrew Tyrie

    Rt Hon Alan Williams

    Rt Hon Ann Taylor   (ex officio as Leader of the House of Commons)

    Rt Hon David Davis   (ex officio as Chairman of the Committee of Public Accounts)

The Rt Hon Robert Sheldon, who as the then Chairman of the PAC had served on the Commission since 1984, was elected Chairman at the Commission's meeting in June 1997.

5. The Secretary of the Commission is Mrs Jacqy Sharpe, one of the Principal Clerks, Select Committees, to whom all official correspondence should be addressed.

Meetings and Parliamentary Questions

6. The Commission held five meetings during the period covered by this Report: on 21 November and 10 December 1996 and 11 June, 23 July and 2 December 1997.

7. Some 26 Parliamentary Questions were tabled to the Chairman of the Public Accounts Commission between 1 July 1996 and 30 June 1998, 15 of which were answered orally.


1   The Public Accounts Commission: Eighth Report, HC 658 (Session 1995-96) Back

2   Now the Rt Hon The Lord Higgins KBE Back


 
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Prepared 10 July 1998