Select Committee on Treasury Minutes of Evidence


PROGRESS SINCE THE JULY 1999 MEMORANDUM AND FURTHER PROPOSALS FOR A RESOURCE BASED SYSTEM OF SUPPLY AND REPORTING TO PARLIAMENT

INTRODUCTION

  1.  This Memorandum represents the latest in a series of progress reports to Parliament on the implementation of Resource Accounting and Budgeting (RAB) in central government. It covers the period since the Memorandum submitted by the Treasury to the Parliamentary Committees in July 1999[1]. As on previous occasions, this Memorandum is addressed jointly to the Committee of Public Accounts, the Treasury Committee and the Procedure Committee.

  2.  The Memorandum begins with a brief outline of developments affecting the RAB project since last July. It then discusses departments' recent progress in implementing RAB and the next phase of the "trigger point" strategy; outlines further progress in developing resource accounting, resource budgeting and the structure of resource-based Estimates; sets out details of the final components of a full resource-based Parliamentary Supply system, completing the picture begun in earlier Memoranda; and provides an update on the legislation needed to implement RAB and on the development of Whole of Government Accounts. The Memorandum ends with a summary of conclusions and recommendations.

DEVELOPMENTS SINCE JULY 1999

Fiscal policy framework

  3.  The Government reaffirmed in its November 1999 Pre-Budget Report (Cm 4479) that, as part of the modernising government agenda, Resource Accounting and Budgeting (RAB) would build on the current fiscal regime by planning, controlling and accounting for departmental spending on a full accruals basis. Cm 4479 noted that RAB would provide a better basis for the allocation and use of resources, enhancing the distinction between capital and current spending by recognising the capital costs (ie depreciation and interest) of public investments and assets as they occur, consistent with and alongside other current spending.

  4.  Cm 4479 confirmed that RAB implementation was now moving into its final phase and that it was the Government's intention that the next review of public spending in 2000 should, for the first time, take account of the full resource costs of providing services, including the cost of assets employed, as part of the move to RAB. Cm 4479 noted that, subject to Parliament's agreement, Supply Estimates for the year 2001-02—the first year of the new public spending plans—would be presented on a resource basis.

  5.  Further details of the way in which resource budgeting is being developed, consistent with the new fiscal policy framework, are outlined later in this Memorandum.

Public Service Agreements, Output and Performance Analyses and Service Delivery Agreements

  6.  As reported in the July 1999 Memorandum, Output and Performance Analyses (OPAs) were published in March 1999 alongside the second tranche of the Public Service Agreements (PSAs). The reporting of progress against PSA targets and other OPA measures and in implementing Modernising Government is a core requirement for the 2000 departmental reports, fulfilling the undertaking to report on progress annually given in "Public Services for the Future: Modernisation, Reform, Accountability" (Cm 4181). Details of the core requirements were sent to the Committees on 13 October 1999, at the same time as they were circulated to departments.

  7.  The 2000 Spending Review will give the Government the opportunity to integrate fully the emphasis on outcomes and output measures, encouraged by RAB, with the PSA and spending review process. OPAs will in future no longer need to have a separate existence, with the development of Service Delivery Agreements (SDAs) to underpin departmental PSAs. The SDAs will show how departments intend to achieve the outcome targets shown in their PSA, and will incorporate the sort of measures currently found in the OPA.

PROGRESS OF DEPARTMENT IMPLEMENTATION OF RAB

  

Trigger point strategy

8.  This section provides a further update on progress by departments in meeting the trigger points against which implementation of RAB is being monitored and assessed.

  9.  To recap, the four trigger points announced by the Government, with the dates by which each stage is expected to be completed shown in brackets, are as follows:

    (ii)  assessment of departments' opening balance sheets for 1999-00 (April to June 1999);

    (iii)  "Stage 2"—including audit by National Audit Office (NAO) of departments' dry-run 1998-99 resource accounts (autumn 1999); and

    (iv)  departments to make available to their select committees "shadow" resourse-based Estimates for 2000-01 (May 2000).

  10.  In announcing the trigger point strategy, the Government made clear that the Treasury, and the NAO, would monitor departments' performance carefully against the trigger points. As each trigger point was reached, the Treasury would take a view on the overall departmental position, determine future action in the light of that and report back to Parliament.

First trigger point

  11.  The Treasury's January 1999 Memorandum[3] reported that all departments had successfully completed the rigorous process of securing Stage 1 approval by the December 1998 deadline, and were ready to move on to the next phase of RAB implementation.

Second trigger point

  12.  The Treasury's July 1999 Memorandum reported the outcome of the second trigger point, which represented an intermediate assessment of departments' progress between the first trigger point (Stage 1 approval) and the third trigger point involving a full audit by the NAO of departments' dry run resource accounts for 1998-99 (Stage 2).

  13.  Based on the information and assurances received from the NAO and from Principal Finance Officers on departments' performance against the Trigger Point 2 criteria, and while noting the significant challenges faced by some departments in completing outstanding areas of work, the Treasury was able to confirm that all departments remained on track to produce auditable recourse accounts for 1999-00, subject to final confirmation at Trigger Point 3.

  14.  In reporting the outcome of Trigger Point 2 in the July 1999 Memorandum, the Treasury noted that one department—the Forestry Commission—had not yet formally completed the process. This was because the Commission faced particular difficulties in producing the opening balances for 1998-99 by June 1999 because of the devolution arrangements introduced during 1999. However, as anticipated in July, good progress has since been made and the Treasury is now able to confirm that the Commission has met the criteria for the second trigger point.

  15.  The July 1999 Memorandum also reported that, while the Cabinet Office was able to provide the assurances needed for Trigger Point 2, there remained significant challenges at Trigger Point 3 if the department was to implement resource accounting in accordance with the overall project timetable. The Cabinet Office's progress against the third trigger point is discussed in more detail later in this Memorandum.

Third trigger point

  16.  The Treasury is now able to report progress against the third trigger point, incorporating Stage 2 of RAB implementation, which involves the NAO's audit of departments' dry-run resource accounts for 1998-99.

  17.  The aim of the third trigger point is to enable the Treasury to form a clear view of each department's ability to implement resource accounting successfully and, if so, to issue an accounts direction to each department for the production, audit and publication and presentation to Parliament of resource accounts for 1999-2000, alongside cash-based appropriation accounts.

  18.  In summary, the main elements of the third trigger point are:

    (a)  preparation by the NAO of an Opinion Letter for each department's dry-run Resource Account for 1998-99 which conveys:

    (i)  the audit opinion reached from the dry-run audit;

    (ii)  the reasons for any "qualification"; and

    (iii)  any more detailed "management" observations; and

    (b)  preparation by each Principal Accounting Officer of a Letter of Assurance which:

    (i)  addresses any concerns from the second trigger point mentioned in the NAO Opinion Letter, and gives assurances that the department remains on track to produce resource accounts for 1999-2000 capable of withstanding audit;

    (ii)  gives assurances that the department remains on track to produce robust resource budgeting data for use in the 2000 Spending Review and in "shadow" resource-based Estimates for 2000-01; and

    (iii)  provides confirmation that suitable and robust RAB training arrangements are in place.

  19.  In reporting progress against the third trigger point, the Treasury recognises that the production of dry run 1998-99 resource accounts by departments, and the examination of the accounts by the NAO, has been a major new process which, as expected, has proved demanding for all parties concerned. Moreover, the process has been conducted alongside the existing statutory requirement to produce cash-based appropriation accounts, and the Treasury acknowledges, and is grateful for, the efforts made by departments and the NAO to ensure that significant progress has been made. The Trigger Point 3 process has now been completed for all but 12 departments and two of the intelligence agencies within the Single Intelligence Vote, whose progress is discussed at Annex A.

  20.  For all other departments, the Treasury has now completed a full and fresh assessment of departmental progress, in the light of information and assurances received from the NAO and from departmental Principal Accounting Officers. In a limited number of cases, agreed with the NAO, a position report has been produced by the NAO where the Trigger Point 3 audit process is essentially complete but not all of the paperwork has been finalised. The delay in these cases is due to departments and the NAO, rightly, giving priority to meeting the statutory deadlines for the cash-based appropriation accounts. This delay further illustrates the difficulties, for both departments and the NAO, of continued double running of the cash and resource-based systems.

  21.  In the light of this further assessment of progress, the Treasury is able to report that the vast majority of departments have succeeded in providing clear cut evidence that they have met the third trigger point criteria, by demonstrating that:

    (i)  they remain on track to produce auditable resource accounts for 1999-00 and subsequent years;

    (ii)  they are on course to produce robust resource budgeting data for use in the 2000 Review and in "shadow" resource-based Estimates for 2000-01; and

    (iii)  suitable and robust RAB training arrangements are in place.

  22.  For five of these departments, also discussed at Annex A, the evidence available to the Treasury has been less clear cut. However, in considering the evidence, the Treasury has also taken into account the progress which each department has made towards achieving full RAB implementation, and its plans for resolving any outstanding issues. Having considered the evidence carefully in each case, the Treasury has concluded that, although some significant issues have arisen during the course of the dry run audits, there is no overriding reason to conclude at this stage that completion of the RAB project in accordance with the planned timetable is not deliverable. The Treasury will continue to monitor departments' progress, and to advise and support departments as they move towards the final phase of RAB implementation, and will provide the Committees with a further report on progress in the spring.

  23.  Since the trigger point strategy was announced in 1998, it has always been intended that it should represent a series of intermediate stages on the road to full RAB implementation. One of the key objectives of the strategy is to provide an opportunity to identify outstanding issues and problems in implementing RAB—for departments, the NAO and the Treasury itself—so that the action necessary to ensure that they can be resolved in advance is taken. Trigger Point 3 has been particularly effective in achieving this, with the necessary remedial action now in place to resolve outstanding issues that have been identified. The rigorous criteria applied as part of the Trigger Point 3 assessment have ensured that the process of producing and auditing the dry run 1998-99 resource accounts has proved extremely beneficial to all parties.

  24.  To complete this progress report on Trigger Point 3, there have been a number of further developments since July 1999 which have implications for departments implementing RAB.

  25.  The Office of the Auditor General for Wales (OAGW) was created under section 90 of the Government of Wales Act 1998. Section 93 of the Act provides that HM Treasury is responsible for issuing the OAGW with accounts directions. Prior to doing so, the Treasury needs to be satisfied that the Office is on track to produce auditable resource accounts for 1999-2000 onwards. For this reason, the OAGW has been added to the list of departments implementing RAB. The Office has completed Trigger Point 3 and is on track to produce auditable resource accounts for 1999-2000.

  26.  The Crown Estates has been added to the list of bodies implementing RAB, and will be required to produce resource accounts for the relatively small amount of voted expenditure it receives. The Crown Estates is on track to produce auditable resource accounts for 1999-2000.

  27.  The Office of Passenger Rail Franchising (OPRAF) has been removed from the list of departments implementing RAB as it is due to be formally abolished later this year, subject to approval of the necessary provisions in the Transport Bill currently before Parliament. OPRAF will be superseded by the Strategic Rail Authority, which is outside the scope of the RAB boundary.

  28.  The list of departments implementing RAB also reflects the Government's intention, subject to Parliamentary approval of the relevant provisions in the Utilities Bill, to merge the Office of Electricity Regulation (OFFER) and the Office of Gas Supply (OFGAS) to form the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (OFGEM).

  29.  Taken together, these changes mean that the number of government departments implementing RAB remains at 46, the same overall number as at the time of the July 1999 RAB Memorandum. These departments are listed at Annex B, together with the main unfunded pension schemes which are producing separate pension scheme statements and the non-governmental bodies who are implementing RAB on a voluntary basis.

  30.  Finally, as part of the Trigger Point 3 process, the Treasury's July 1999 Memorandum noted that departments would make available to their select committees on a privileged basis their dry run resource accounts for 1998-99. Accordingly, departments will now be submitting copies of their dry run accounts to their select committees alongside this Memorandum. Departments who have not yet completed the Trigger Point 3 process will submit their dry run accounts to their committees as soon as the audit of the accounts is complete.

Fourth trigger point

  31.  As noted above, the fourth trigger point involves the production and submission to departmental select committees of "shadow" resource-based Estimates for 2000-01. Departments will aim to make their shadow Estimates available to their select committees as soon as possible after the 2000 departmental reports and the cash-based 2000-01 Main Estimates have been presented to Parliament in the spring of 2000.

  32.  The shadow Resource Estimates produced for Trigger Point 4 will comprise Parts I, II and III of the Estimate and the associated forecast operating cost and cashflow statements, together with some of the key supporting notes. As well as departments' own illustrative Estimates, it is intended that the shadow Resource Estimates submitted to the Committees will include illustrative Estimates for the main public service pension schemes referred to above.

  33.  The implications for the shadow Resource Estimates produced for Trigger Point 4 of the Government's proposals for introducing resource budgeting in the 2000 Spending Review are discussed later in this Memorandum.

  34.  In line with a specific request by the Committee of Public Accounts[4], copies of the shadow 2000-01 Resource Estimates will be sent by departments to the National Audit Office, for information, when they are copied to the departmental select committees. At the same time, the Treasury will submit a further Memorandum to the PAC, Treasury Committee and Procedure Committee reporting the outcome of the 4th trigger point. As requested by the PAC, this further Memorandum will include a summary table showing the resource, capital and cash provision contained in the shadow Resource Estimates by department and in aggregate, to give the Committees a clearer picture of the variation between resource-based and cash-based Supply.

  35.  A number of further issues raised by the PAC in relation to the Trigger Point 4 assessment are addressed in the relevant later sections in this Memorandum.

Conclusion

  36.  The Committees are invited to note this further report on progress against the Treasury's trigger point strategy for monitoring and assessing the implementation of RAB. The Committees are asked to note in particular the Treasury's assessment, on the basis of evidence available so far, that there is no overriding reason to conclude at this stage that completion of the RAB project in accordance with the planned timetable is not deliverable.

  37.  In the light of this, and subject to progress against the final stages of the trigger point strategy, the Government intends to continue to plan ahead on the basis that the first resource-based Estimates should be presented to Parliament in respect of 2001-02, with resource accounts replacing appropriation accounts for that financial year. The Treasury will continue to monitor departments' progress against the trigger points, and to advise and support departments as they move towards the final phase of RAB implementation, and will provide the Committees with a further report on progress in the spring.

  38.  As indicated in previous Treasury Memoranda, assuming the final stages of the trigger point strategy outlined above are successfully met, a firm decision to proceed with the introduction of resource-based Supply from 2001-02 must be taken by July 2000, since that is the latest point by which the decision could realistically be taken in order to leave sufficient time for the necessary final preparations to be put in place.

RESOURCE ACCOUNTING

  39.  This section reports developments on various aspects of resource accounting since the July 1999 Memorandum.

Statement of Accounting Officer Responsibilities

  40.  The Resource Accounting Manual requires that the Accounting Officer should explain his/her responsibilities for preparing resource accounts in a Statement of Accounting Officer Responsibilities.

  41.  The present Statement of Accounting Officer Responsibilities (SAOR), which appears in departmental appropriation accounts and other central government accounts, arises from the Statement of Auditing Standard 6001 (SAS 600) issued in 1993. SAS 600 is primarily concerned with clarifying the respective responsibilities of the auditor and of the audited body.

  42.  When expressed in central government terms, SAS 600 requires the auditor's opinion on the accounts to include amongst other things:

    —  a statement that the accounts are the responsibility of the Accounting Officer;

    —  a reference to a description of the Accounting Officer's responsibilities if they have been set out elsewhere in the accounts; and

    —  a description of the Accounting Officer's responsibilities if the information is not given elsewhere in the accounts.

  43.  The Treasury and the National Audit Office have agreed that the SAOR should appear as a separate statement in the accounts themselves rather than in the NAO's opinion.

  44,  Under the present central government reporting arrangements, the SAOR:

    for both appropriation accounts and accruals accounts:

    —  notes the statutory authority for the accounts; and

    —  notes that the relevant responsibilities of the Accounting Officer, including his/her responsibility for the propriety and regularity of the public finances for which s/he is answerable and for the keeping of public records, is set out in the Accounting Officers' Memorandum;

    for appropriation accounts:

    —  notes that appropriation accounts are prepared on a cash basis and must properly present the receipts and payments for each Vote in the financial year;

    for accruals accounts:

    —  requires the body to:

    —  observe the accounts direction issued to the body, including the relevant accounting and disclosure requirements, and apply suitable accounting policies on a consistent basis;

    —  make judgements and estimates on a reasonable basis;

    —  state whether applicable accounting standards have been followed, and disclose and explain any material departures in the financial statements; and

    —  prepare the financial statements on a going concern basis, unless it is inappropriate to presume that the body will continue in operation.

  45.  Under RAB, it is proposed that the SAOR should maintain the elements outlined above, updated where necessary. Thus the Statement will note that resource accounts are prepared on an accruals basis, and must give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the department, the net resource outturn, resources applied to objectives, recognised gains and losses and cash flows for the financial year.

  46.  In addition, for those departments where one or more officials in addition to the permanent head of department have been appointed by the Treasury as Accounting Officers with responsibility for particular parts of the accounts relating to particular Requests for Resources, the SAOR under RAB will identify the responsibilities of each such Accounting Officer.

  47.  Annex C contains two model SAORs under RAB: the first for a department with a single Treasury-appointed Accounting Officer, the second for a department with two or more Treasury-appointed Accounting Officers (typically a department with a principal Accounting Officer and one or more additional Accounting Officers). For the latter kind of department the precise allocation of responsibilities between such Accounting Officers will be determined by the department and will reflect the structure of the Requests for Resources within the department's resource-based Estimate.

  48.  The detailed wording of the model statements at Annex C, including that relating to the responsibilities of additional Accounting Officers for those parts of the Accounts flowing from the individual Requests for Resources, has been agreed with the NAO and endorsed by the Financial Reporting Advisory Board (FRAB).

  49.  As now, the relationship between principal Accounting Officers and any additional Accounting Officers within a department, together with their respective responsibilities, will be set out in the type of written understanding referred to in the Accounting Officer Memorandum. The explanatory notes to departments' Resource Estimates will explain the Accounting Officer responsibilities in respect of individual Requests for Resources. This is intended to ensure that a clear definition of Accounting Officer responsibilities is provided in Resource Estimates.

  50.  The sole Accounting Officer or the principal Accounting Officer, as the case may be, will sign the Foreword to the published resource accounts, together with Schedule 3 (the balance sheet). This reflects the overall responsibility of such Accounting Officers for a department's accounts.

  51.  The arrangements outlined above, including the precise wording of the SAORs, will be adapted as necessary to meet the particular circumstances of individual departments and of the devolved authorities in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Accounting for inflation

  52.  The Procedure Committee's Second Report, Session 1997-98: Resource Accounting and Budgeting (HC 438) expressed concern that accounting for the effect of general inflation on the value of assets and liabilities in resource-based Supply could introduce unnecessary uncertainty into the figures presented to Parliament for approval.

  53.  The Treasury has considered the Committee's comments carefully. While the Treasury remains of the view that accounting for the effect of general inflation is correct in principle, since it reflects more accurately the cost of holding assets and liabilities, the Treasury has concluded that, apart from one exception discussed below, the effect of general inflation on the value of assets and liabilities should not at this stage be accounted for in resource accounts or in the resource-based budgeting and Supply processes.

  54.  The exception referred to above concerns student loans, where it is proposed that there should be an adjustment for general inflation in resource accounts and resource-based budgeting and Supply. This adjustment is necessary in order to measure the full subsidy in respect of these loans, which can then be attributed correctly to the years in which each student is engaged in higher education. Because students pay interest on these loans equivalent to the rate of general inflation, the inclusion of an adjustment for general inflation has the effect of reducing the scope for uncertainty. The accounting treatment for student loans has been discussed and agreed with FRAB.

  55.  The Treasury will keep the issue of accounting for the effect of general inflation under review and, in particular, whether this adjustment might at a future point be brought fully into resource accounts and resource-based budgeting and Supply.

Prior period adjustments

  56.  The Procedure Committee also raised in HC 438 the issue of whether it was appropriate for government accounts to adopt commercial practice on prior period adjustments, whereby "the figures in the previous year's accounts may be changed, for example, if a fundamental error is subsequently discovered . . . or if accounting policies are changed and the figures would be substantially different for the prior year". The report noted that the Comptroller and Auditor General "considered that the most straightforward course would be to ban such adjustments".

  57.  The Government confirmed in its response to the Procedure Committee (HC 773) that the Government would consider, in the light of the Committee's comments, whether amendments were needed to the Resource Accounting Manual, which permitted prior period adjustments in accordance with UK GAAP by restating, in the accounts, comparative figures for the preceding year and adjusting opening balances for the cumulative effect, thereby avoiding any amendment to the prior year's accounts.

  58.  Following further consideration of this issue, including discussions with the NAO, the Government proposes that PPAs should be handled in Schedules 2-5 of resource accounts[5] as they would be under GAAP—that is, that they should be excluded from current year outturn—with the effects of the adjustments being recognised in Schedule 1 of the accounts[6] as part of the current year outturn. In that way, the adjustments would be borne against the current year's Supply, encompassed by the Parliamentary voting of that year's Estimates, and given statutory authority through the Appropriation Act. This approach is designed to meet the concern that there is at present no mechanism in place in the Supply system to ensure that resource-based prior period adjustments are approved by Parliament.

  59.  Such adjustments would mean that resource-based Supply for a particular year could, in effect, occasionally be used to fund expenditure for a previous year. However, the Government has concluded that this is preferable to the alternative of reopening accounts which have already been closed.

  60.  The treatment of PPAs as current year outturn in Schedule 1 will be reconciled with the operating cost statement (Schedule 2) through the note to the accounts reconciling the net operating cost total with the net resource outturn total. The amount of the PPA shown in the reconciliation note would also appear separately in the statement of recognised gains and losses in Schedule 2, thereby providing a further link between Schedule 1 and the other primary statements.

  61.  In addition, to ensure adequate disclosure to Parliament, it is proposed that the PPA should be disclosed on the face of Schedule 1 in the form of a specific reference in the explanation of variation box. Relevant notes to the accounts will carry additional disclosure as applicable, to show relevant adjustments, together with an appropriate explanation.

  62.  It is worth bearing in mind, however, that, because of the limited circumstances in which PPAs are made, they should seldom occur. Under UKGAAP, PPA treatment is adopted only where the amount or nature of the adjustment is material. Otherwise, all the effects are recognised in the accounts as transactions for the current period, with no further disclosure.


  63.  The accounting arrangements for PPAs outlined above, together with the corresponding amendments to the Resource Accounting Manual, have been agreed with the NAO and the FRAB.

  64.  As noted earlier, provision for PPAs needs to be made in Resource Estimates in the year in which they come to light, in order to obtain the spending authority that should have been sought previously. The provision may relate to adjustments in respect of one or more prior years. To the extent that they involve corrections to previous years' outturn figures, it is further envisaged that PPAs should lead to a restatement of the resource budget outturns for the year or years in question, with no effort on the resource budget outturn for the year in which the adjustment is made.

Supplementary disclosures

  65.  Finally, the PAC has sought clarification[7], in the context of the Treasury's forthcoming Trigger Point 4 assessment, of the procedures governing supplementary disclosures in resource accounts, to parallel those currently made in appropriation accounts.

  66.  The Treasury fully recognises the importance of adequate disclosure in government accounts of information on matters bearing on Parliamentary control, in order to ensure full transparency. Accordingly, the Treasury has issued guidance to departments reminding them of the need to continue to provide Parliament with such information through notes to the accounts. The guidance reminded departments that these requirements should continue to be observed in respect of appropriation accounts as long as they are produced, and explained how the requirements should be applied in respect of resource accounts.

  67.  Consequently, during the financial years 1999-00 and 2000-01, when it is planned that resource accounts will be produced and published alongside appropriation accounts, departments will be required to provide notes to both sets of accounts in respect of:

    —  explanations of variations;

    —  information on receipts;

    —  losses statement;

    —  special payments;

    —  gifts;

    —  transfers of land and buildings at less than market value;

    —  loans;

    —  acquisition of company securities;

    —  late payment of commercial debts;

    —  any other notes required by the Treasury or considered by the department as necessary to provide a better understanding of the accounts.

  68.  Since resource accounts are produced on an accruals basis and appropriation accounts on a cash basis, the notes to the two sets of accounts may not be fully comparable.

  69.  Departments will be required to continue to provide these notes when it is planned, subject to Parliament's approval, that resource accounts replace appropriation accounts from 2001-02. The Treasury would be happy to consider adding to these requirements if the Committees consider that further notes to the accounts are needed in order to ensure full transparency.

Conclusion

  70.  The Government invites the Committees to note this further report on developments in introducing resource accounting.


1   See Appendix 1, p 101. For publication details of previous memoranda, see later footnotes. Back

2   Stage 1 approval involved the Treasury receiving from departments: meaningful illustrative recourse accounts compiled in accordance with the Resource Accounting Manual (RAM); a Departmental Resource Accounting Manual, reflecting discussions on accounting policies with the NAO, that deals with each department's own unique circumstances; a letter from the departmental Principal Finance Officer confirming that the department's accounting systems will be able to provide the necessary resource accounting information; a copy of the NAO's preliminary view on departments' accounting policies and systems; and an updated project implementation plan. Back

3   Printed in Sixth Report of the Procedure Committee, Session 1998-99, HC 295, pp 63-90. Back

4   Letter of 26 November 1999 from the PAC Chairman to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, printed in Ninth Report from the Committee of Public Accounts, Session 1999-2000, HC 159, p 1-2. Back

5   ie the operating cost statement; statement of recognised gains and losses; balance sheet; cash flow statement and statement of resources by departmental aim and objectives. Back

6   ie the summary of resource outturn-which is the Parliamentary control schedule. Back

7   Letter of 26 November 1999 from the PAC Chairman to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury (see footnote, p 5). Back


 
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