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Amendments to the Government Resources and Accounts Bill

Government Resources and Accounts Bill -
Amendments to be debated in the House of Lords

Here you can browse the Amendments to the Government Resources and Accounts Bill to be moved in Grand Committee in the House of Lords.

  
After Clause 7
 
  
BY THE LORD HIGGINS
THE VISCOUNT BRIDGEMAN
 
     Insert the following new Clause-- 
     ("  .--(1)  This section applies to any public service agency of the sort described in subsection (8), unless otherwise provided in any enactment passed after this section comes into force.
 
    (2)  On the prescribed date, for each public service agency to which this section applies subsections (3) to (6) shall apply to that agency.
 
    (3)  Every public service agency shall prepare accounts in respect of each financial year and shall send them to the Comptroller and Auditor General.
 
    (4)  The Comptroller and Auditor General shall examine accounts sent to him under this section with a view to satisfying himself--
    (a)  that the accounts present a true and fair view, and
    (b)  that any public money provided to the agency has been expended for the purposes intended by the body by which the money was paid.
    (5)  Where the Comptroller and Auditor General has conducted an examination of accounts under subsection (4) he shall--
    (a)  certify them and issue a report,
    (b)  send the certified accounts and the report to the Treasury, and
    (c)  if he is not satisfied of the matters set out in subsection (4)(a) and (b), he shall report to the House of Commons.
    (6)  The Treasury shall lay accounts and reports received under subsection (5)(b) before the House of Commons.
 
    (7)  Subsections (3) to (6) do not apply to any body to the extent (but only to the extent) that any of its accounts are or become subject to audit--
    (a)  by the Auditor General for Scotland, or
    (b)  by the Auditor General for Wales.
    (8)  Public service agency" means a body--
    (a)  which is not a government department or comprised within a government department,
    (b)  which exercises public functions of a governmental nature which might otherwise fall to be exercised by central government, and
    (c)  as respects which an accounting officer has been designated,
but does not include a public service agency which is a company registered under the Companies Act 1985.
 
    (9)  In this section "prescribed date" means, as regards each public service agency, the first day of the first full financial year of that agency commencing after the expiry of the term of appointment of the person who is the auditor of the agency when this section comes into force.")
Public service agencies' accounts: scrutiny.
     Insert the following new Clause-- 
     ("  .--(1)  This section applies to any government department which is required to prepare resource accounts under section 5.
 
    (2)  A department to which this section applies shall in each financial year prepare a performance statement in respect of that year analysing the performance of the department in using the resources to which the accounts relate in achieving its objectives for that financial year.
 
    (3)  A department shall send its performance statement to the Comptroller and Auditor General with the resource accounts sent to him under section 5, or at such other time as the Comptroller and Auditor General may specify in respect of that statement.
 
    (4)  The Comptroller and Auditor General may examine any performance statement which he receives from a department under subsection (2) and may report on it to the House of Commons.
 
    (5)  Subsection (4) shall not entitle the Comptroller and Auditor General to question the merits of the policy objectives of a department to which the performance statement relates.")
Performance statements.
  
Clause 8
 
  
BY THE LORD HIGGINS
THE VISCOUNT BRIDGEMAN
 
     Leave out Clause 8 and insert the following new Clause-- 
     ("  .--(1)  This section applies in connection with the examination by the Comptroller and Auditor General of the accounts of any government department or other body under or by virtue of--
    (a)  any enactment, including this Act, or
    (b)  in the case of a body other than a government department, any arrangement which provides for the accounts of that body to be subject to examination by the Comptroller and Auditor General.
    (2)  Subsection (3) applies only to the following records, that is to say--
    (a)  records which are in the custody or under the control of the department or body to which the examination relates, or to which that department or body has or can obtain access;
    (b)  records of a receiving body to which any paying body has or can obtain access.
    (3)  In connection with such an examination as is mentioned in subsection (1), the Comptroller and Auditor General shall, subject to subsections (2), (4) and (5), have a right to access at all reasonable times to any record relating to--
    (a)  the accounts of the department or body to which the examination relates,
    (b)  any money originating in the Consolidated Fund,
    (c)  any liability or contingent liability that will or may be met out of monies originating in the Consolidated Fund, or
    (d)  tax credits under the Tax Credits Act 1999.
    (4)  The right of access conferred by subsection (3) shall not be exercisable in relation to any record relating to accounts which--
    (a)  are subject to audit by the Auditor General for Scotland or the Auditor General for Wales, and
    (b)  are not also subject to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General.
    (5)  A person who holds or has control of any record to which the Comptroller and Auditor General has a right of access under subsection (3) shall give the Comptroller and Auditor General any assistance, information or explanation which he requires in relation to the matters recorded in it.
 
    (6)  In this section "paying body" means any body which pays to a receiving body money originating in the Consolidated Fund, and a "receiving body" means any body which receives from a paying body money originating in the Consolidated Fund, but does not include in either case a body the accounts of which are subject to audit under section 2 of the Audit Commission Act 1998 or section 97 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 unless it is a body specified in section 98(1) of the National Health Service Act 1977.")
Comptroller and Auditor General: access to information.
 
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