Government Resources and Accounts Bill - continued        House of Lords
Departmental accounts - continued

back to previous text
 
Other departmental accounts.     7. - (1) The Treasury may direct a government department to prepare for each financial year accounts in relation to any specified matter.
 
      (2) Accounts under subsection (1) shall be prepared in accordance with directions issued by the Treasury.
 
      (3) Where a department prepares accounts under subsection (1)-
 
 
    (a) it shall send them to the Comptroller and Auditor General not later than 30th November of the financial year following that to which the accounts relate,
 
    (b) the Comptroller and Auditor General shall examine and certify the accounts, issue a report on them and send the certified accounts and the report to the Treasury not later than 15th January of that year, and
 
    (c) the Treasury shall lay the certified accounts and the report before the House of Commons not later than 31st January of that year.
      (4) The Comptroller and Auditor General shall carry out his examination of accounts under subsection (3)(b) with a view to satisfying himself-
 
 
    (a) that money provided by Parliament has been expended for the purposes intended by Parliament,
 
    (b) that resources authorised by Parliament to be used have been used for the purposes in relation to which the use was authorised, and
 
    (c) that the department's financial transactions are in accordance with any relevant authority.
      (5) The Treasury may, in relation to accounts under subsection (1) generally or in relation to specified accounts under subsection (1), direct that this section shall have effect as if references to the relevant department were substituted for the references to the Treasury in subsection (3)(b) and (c).
 
      (6) Sections 5 and 6 of, and Schedule 1 to, the Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1921 (preparation and examination of trading accounts, &c.) shall cease to have effect.
 
Comptroller and Auditor General: access to information.     8. - (1) For the purposes of an examination by the Comptroller and Auditor General of a government department's accounts-
 
 
    (a) he shall have a right of access at all reasonable times to any of the documents relating to the department's accounts, and
 
    (b) a person who holds or has control of any of those documents shall give the Comptroller and Auditor General any assistance, information or explanation which he requires in relation to any of those documents.
      (2) Subsection (1) applies only in relation to documents which are held or controlled-
 
 
    (a) by a government department, or
 
    (b) in pursuance of arrangements made by a government department for the compiling or handling of any of its financial records.
      (3) The following provisions shall cease to have effect-
 
 
    (a) section 28 of the Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1866 (access to departments' documents);
 
    (b) section 9(2) of the Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1921 (application of section 28 of 1866 Act).
 
Whole of government accounts
Preparation.     9. - (1) The Treasury shall prepare in respect of each financial year a set of accounts for a group of bodies each of which appears to the Treasury-
 
 
    (a) to exercise functions of a public nature, or
 
    (b) to be entirely or substantially funded from public money.
      (2) Accounts prepared under this section may include information referring wholly or partly to activities which-
 
 
    (a) are not activities of bodies falling within subsection (1), but
 
    (b) appear to the Treasury to be activities of a public nature.
      (3) The accounts shall-
 
 
    (a) contain such information in such form as the Treasury thinks fit, and
 
    (b) be designed to conform to generally accepted accounting practice subject to such adaptations as are necessary in the context.
Obtaining information.     10. - (1) Where the Treasury intend the accounts under section 9 for a particular financial year to relate in part to a particular body which falls within section 9(1), the Treasury may by order designate that body for the purposes of this section in respect of that year.
 
      (2) Where a body is designated in respect of a financial year it shall-
 
 
    (a) prepare such financial information in relation to the year as the Treasury may request,
 
    (b) present the information in such form as the Treasury may direct,
 
    (c) arrange for the information to be audited, and
 
    (d) deliver the information to the Treasury, in such manner and by such date in the next year as the Treasury may direct.
      (3) Where a body is designated in respect of a financial year the Treasury may request it to-
 
 
    (a) prepare specified financial information in relation to a specified part of the year,
 
    (b) present the information in a specified form, and
 
    (c) deliver the information to the Treasury in a specified manner by a specified date.
      (4) A designated body shall comply with a request under subsection (3).
 
      (5) A designated body shall comply with any direction of the Treasury as to the person or kind of person to be given responsibility for ensuring compliance with subsections (2) and (3).
 
      (6) The Treasury may not designate a body if its activities relate entirely to Scotland.
 
      (7) Before designating a body the Treasury shall, where they think it appropriate, consult the National Assembly for Wales.
 
      (8) The Treasury may make arrangements for the National Assembly for Wales or another body to-
 
 
    (a) receive information provided under subsection (2) or (3),
 
    (b) consolidate information received,
 
    (c) arrange for the consolidation to be audited, and
 
    (d) deliver the consolidation to the Treasury.
      (9) Where arrangements under subsection (8) apply-
 
 
    (a) a person carrying out an audit under subsection (2)(c) shall give a person carrying out an audit under subsection (8)(c) such information and explanations as he may reasonably require for the purposes of that provision, and
 
    (b) subsections (2)(d) and (3)(c) shall have effect as if for a reference to the Treasury there were substituted a reference to a body specified by the Treasury.
      (10) An order under subsection (1)-
 
 
    (a) shall be made by statutory instrument, and
 
    (b) shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
Scrutiny.     11. - (1) The Treasury shall send accounts under section 9 to the Comptroller and Auditor General.
 
      (2) The Comptroller and Auditor General shall examine accounts sent to him under this section with a view to satisfying himself that they present a true and fair view.
 
      (3) Where the Comptroller and Auditor General has conducted an examination of accounts he shall-
 
 
    (a) certify them and issue a report, and
 
    (b) send the certified accounts and the report to the Treasury.
      (4) The Treasury shall lay accounts and reports received under subsection (3)(b) before the House of Commons.
 
      (5) A person who acts as auditor for the purposes of section 10(2)(c) or (8)(c) shall give to the Comptroller and Auditor General such information and explanations as he may reasonably require for the purposes of this section.
 
      (6) The Treasury shall by order specify dates by which the duties under subsections (1), (3)(b) and (4) shall be performed.
 
      (7) Before making an order under subsection (6) the Treasury shall consult the Comptroller and Auditor General.
 
      (8) An order under subsection (6)-
 
 
    (a) shall be made by statutory instrument, and
 
    (b) shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of the House of Commons.
 
National Health Service
Health Authorities and Special Health Authorities.     12. - (1) After section 97A of the National Health Service Act 1977 (financial duties of Health Authorities and Special Health Authorities) there shall be inserted-
 
 
"Resource limits for Health Authorities and Special Health Authorities.     97AA. - (1) It is the duty of every Health Authority and every Special Health Authority to ensure that the use of their resources in a financial year does not exceed the amount specified for them in relation to that year by the Secretary of State.
 
    (2) In the application of subsection (1) above to a Health Authority no account shall be taken of any use of resources for the purpose of general Part II expenditure (within the meaning of paragraph 1 of Schedule 12A).
 
      (3) For the purpose of subsection (1) above the Secretary of State may give directions-
 
 
    (a) specifying uses of resources which are to be, or not to be, taken into account;
 
    (b) making provision for determining to which Health Authority or Special Health Authority certain uses of resources are to be attributed;
 
    (c) specifying descriptions of resources which are to be, or not to be, taken into account.
      (4) Subsections (6) to (8) of section 97A above shall apply in relation to the duty under subsection (1) above as they apply in relation to the duties under section 97A(1) and (2); and for that purpose references to the defraying of expenditure and the receipt of sums shall be construed as references to the incurring of liabilities and the acquisition of assets.
 
      (5) The provisions in section 97A(3) and (4) above about the giving of directions by the Secretary of State shall apply in relation to the duty under subsection (1) above as they apply in relation to the duties under section 97A(1) and (2).
 
      (6) Where the Secretary of State has specified an amount under this section in respect of a financial year, he may vary the amount by a later specification.
 
      (7) In this section a reference to the use of resources is a reference to their expenditure, consumption or reduction in value."
 
      (2) In the application of section 97AA of the 1977 Act to Wales, for each reference to the Secretary of State there shall be substituted a reference to the National Assembly for Wales.
 
 
previous section contents continue
 
House of Lords home page Houses of Parliament home page House of Commons home page search page enquiries

© Parliamentary copyright 2000
Prepared 2 March 2000