We welcome the improvements that HM Treasury (the Treasury) has made to the quality, coverage and timeliness of the Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) since the previous Committee reported in 2014. Now in its sixth year, the WGA provides an important insight into the public finances and shines a light on significant areas of government activity such as clinical negligence. We consider it a vital tool for holding the Treasury and the Government to account but there is more to do to make the WGA more useful to the Government as well as to Parliament and the public. The WGA needs to be published more quickly after the year-end and include more information on the reasons for significant movements on the balance sheet and on where public money is going. As we enter a period of economic uncertainty, it is essential that the Treasury can understand and get a grip on the financial risks highlighted in the WGA and be clear about the impact that the Government’s decisions have on the short- and long-term financial position.
10 October 2016