Select Committee on Public Accounts Commission Report

2  Introduction

6. I have set out in this report the background to the review, the objectives of the corporate governance framework, a comparison of the current corporate governance of the NAO against best practice and arrangements in other countries, my proposal for the future governance of the NAO, the relationship between the NAO and the Audit Commission and other comments.

7. During my review I have interviewed all members of the NAO Senior Management Board other than its Chairman (the C&AG, with whom I have had a brief conversation) and all members of the Audit Committee, a number of senior officials in government, the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Audit Commission, the Auditor Generals in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and the Auditor Generals of Sweden and Canada. I met with the Public Accounts Commission at the start of my review. I have invited input to my review from interested parties and have received 14 submissions. I am most grateful to all who have contributed to my review.

8. The position of the C&AG was established by the Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1866. Three further Acts of Parliament have established the authority of the C&AG, most notably the National Audit Act 1983. This Act gives the C&AG complete discretion in the discharge of his functions. It also says there shall be a National Audit Office, whose staff shall be appointed by the C&AG. To support him, the C&AG has set up a Senior Management Board (which he chairs) and a Management Committee (chaired by the Deputy C&AG). There is also an Audit Committee.

9. The C&AG is accountable to the Public Accounts Commission (TPAC), an all party committee of MPs. The Commission examines the NAO's Supply Estimate (the annual budget), appoints the Accounting Officer (currently the C&AG) and appoints the external auditors.

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