Twenty-sixth Report: Work of the Commission in 2020 Contents

Statutory Functions

6.The Public Accounts Commission was established under section 2 of the National Audit Act 1983. The Budget Responsibility and National Audit Act 2011 put the arrangements for the governance of the NAO on a statutory basis and, in particular, established the National Audit Office (NAO) as a body corporate. It also revised the statutory responsibilities of the Commission.

7.Section 23 of the 2011 Act states that the NAO and the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) must jointly prepare an Estimate of the NAO’s resources, including resources necessary for the C&AG’s functions. The Commission must review the Estimate and lay it before the House of Commons—modified where it considers appropriate—and in doing so must have regard to any advice provided by the Public Accounts Committee or the Treasury.

8.Under paragraph 4 of schedule 2 of the 2011 Act, the Commission also appoints non-executive members of the NAO board (other than the Chair), on the recommendation of the chair of the NAO. In the event of the Commission not appointing the recommended candidate, the Chair of the NAO must make another recommendation.

9.Under paragraph 24 of the same schedule the Commission must appoint the C&AG (or some other appropriate person) as the NAO’s accounting officer. Under paragraph 25 the Commission must approve the appointment of an auditor for the NAO for each year and lay the NAO’s Report and Accounts before the House of Commons.

10.Paragraph 1 of schedule 3 of the 2011 Act requires the NAO and the C&AG to prepare and maintain a strategy for national audit functions, including a plan for the use of resources. This strategy (including any revision) must be submitted for approval to the Public Accounts Commission (which may modify it) having regard to any advice given by the Treasury.

11.Under paragraph 8 of the same schedule, the Commission must approve any revision to the Scheme of Audit Fees and, under paragraph 10, must approve a Code of Practice dealing with the relationship between the NAO and the Comptroller and Auditor General.

Published: 12 July 2021 Site information    Accessibility statement