House of Lords - Explanatory Note
Government Resources And Accounts Bill - continued          House of Lords

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Amendments to the Food Standards Act 1999

121. Paragraph 19 changes references to appropriation accounts and to the Exchequer and Audit Departments Acts to references to the appropriate clauses of the Bill.

FINANCIAL EFFECTS OF THE BILL

Resource Accounting and Budgeting

122. The requirements in the Bill relating to RAB involve no additional public expenditure. To the extent that the move to RAB has involved additional expenditure then this has already been incurred by departments in setting up the necessary accounting systems.

Whole of Government Accounts

123. The Treasury will have to purchase the accounting systems necessary to perform the consolidation and prepare the accounts. It will also require a small team of accountants and administrators to operate the system. Neither of these requirements will involve significant expenditure and will be funded from existing provision.

124. The introduction of WGA will build on the implementation of RAB and other changes in public sector financial reporting already proposed. It should, therefore, not involve significant additional expenditure either by other public bodies in providing the necessary information, because the majority of systems and procedures required will already have been put in place.

Public-Private Partnerships

125. Clauses 16 to 19 of the Bill enable the Treasury to incur expenditure in respect of the establishment of a new body for the purpose of carrying on public-private partnership business and in order to invest in and make other financial provision for that body.

126. The Treasury publication "Modern Government Modern Procurement" stated that the Treasury would fund development costs, estimated at £6 million, and would also make available some initial capital and provide an ongoing commitment, possibly in the form of a guarantee. The full extent and nature of expenditure or investment to be provided are matters for consideration as part of the business planning for Partnerships UK. The Government will keep its commitments to the minimum necessary to secure the successful launch of the new body. Cash commitments are to be funded by an allocation to the Treasury from the Capital Modernisation Fund.

EFFECTS OF THE BILL ON PUBLIC SERVICE MANPOWER

127. The provisions on RAB in the Bill will not effect public service manpower. To the extent that the move to RAB has resulted in changes in manpower then these have already taken place as departments have set up the necessary accounting systems and strengthened finance functions.

128. In relation to the provisions on WGA there should be no significant manpower implications to these proposals as the majority of the systems and procedures required will already be in place for RAB or other financial reporting purposes.

129. The new body referred to in clauses 16 and 17 is expected to be classified to the private sector and as such will have no implications for public service manpower.

REGULATORY APPRAISAL

130. The RAB and WGA elements of the Bill have no implications in terms of costs to business as they are concerned solely with UK central government and public sector arrangements.

131. It is intended that the new body referred to under clauses 16 and 17 should contribute to the creation of a better flow of well-structured private finance initiative projects and public-private partnerships. It will not impose any additional costs or regulations on the private sector.

EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS

132. Section 19 of the Human Rights Act 1998 requires the Minister in Charge of the Bill in either House of Parliament to make a statement, before second reading, about the compatibility of the provisions of the Bill with the Convention rights (as defined by section 1 of that Act). Lord McIntosh of Haringey has made the following statement:

    In my view the provisions of the Government Resources and Accounts Bill are compatible with the Convention rights.

COMMENCEMENT

133. Clauses 16 to 19 (and 28 and 29) are to come into effect when the Bill receives the Royal Assent. All other clauses will brought into operation by order made by the Treasury as the move from the current accounting system to RAB and the WGA project progress.

 
 
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Prepared: 2 March 2000