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Government Resources and Accounts Bill
 
 

 
 
A

B I L L

[AS AMENDED ON REPORT]

TO

Make provision about government resources and accounts; to provide for financial assistance for a body established to participate in public-private partnerships; and for connected purposes.

BE IT ENACTED by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-
 

 
Supply
Application of sums issued.     1. - (1) Where a Consolidated Fund Act or Appropriation Act authorises a sum to be-
 
 
    (a) issued out of the Consolidated Fund, and
 
    (b) applied to the service of a specified year,
       every sum issued in pursuance of the Act shall be applied towards the service of that year.
 
      (2) Section 2(1) of the Public Accounts and Charges Act 1891 (issues from Exchequer) shall cease to have effect.
 
Appropriation in aid.     2. - (1) The Treasury may, subject to any relevant limit set by an Appropriation Act, direct that resources may be applied as an appropriation in aid of resources authorised by Parliament to be used for the service of a particular year.
 
      (2) A direction under subsection (1) shall be-
 
 
    (a) made by minute, and
 
    (b) laid before Parliament.
      (3) Subsections (4) and (5) apply where money is received in connection with an appropriation in aid which has been or is expected to be directed under subsection (1).
 
      (4) Where the money is received in the year for the service of which the appropriation in aid is authorised-
 
 
    (a) the appropriation in aid is authority for the money to be used in accordance with the Treasury's direction, and
 
    (b) in so far as it is not used for that purpose it shall be paid into the Consolidated Fund.
      (5) Where the money is received in a year other than that for the service of which the appropriation in aid is or is to be authorised, it shall be-
 
 
    (a) retained and applied as a use of resources authorised by Appropriation Act for the service of the year in which the money is received, or
 
    (b) paid into the Consolidated Fund.
      (6) Section 2(2) and (3) of the Public Accounts and Charges Act 1891 (appropriation in aid) shall cease to have effect.
 
 
Government funds and accounts
Payments out.     3. - (1) Subsection (2) applies to a requisition, request or order under-
 
 
    (a) section 13 or 15 of the Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1866 (payments out of the Consolidated Fund), or
 
    (b) section 1(3) of the National Loans Act 1968 (payments out of the National Loans Fund).
      (2) A requisition, request or order to which this subsection applies-
 
 
    (a) may be produced, authenticated and transmitted in any manner which the Treasury, with the approval of the Comptroller and Auditor General, decide to adopt, but
 
    (b) shall be accompanied by evidence of the approval of two officers of the Treasury appointed for that purpose.
      (3) A request or order under section 20 of the Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1866 (government stock and annuities) may be produced, authenticated and transmitted in any manner which the Treasury decide to adopt.
 
      (4) Section 56 of the Finance Act 1975 (signature of requisitions and requests) shall cease to have effect.
 
Payments in by error.     4. - (1) Where-
 
 
    (a) money is paid into the Consolidated Fund or the National Loans Fund, and
 
    (b) the money should not or need not have been paid into the Fund,
       all or any part of the money may be paid out of the Fund in accordance with this section.
 
      (2) In the case of the Consolidated Fund-
 
 
    (a) the Comptroller and Auditor General shall on receipt of a requisition from the Treasury grant a credit on the Exchequer account at the Bank of England (or on its growing balance), and
 
    (b) an issue shall be made on orders given to the Bank by the Treasury in accordance with a credit granted under paragraph (a).
      (3) In the case of the National Loans Fund-
 
 
    (a) the Comptroller and Auditor General shall at the request of the Treasury grant a credit on the National Loans Fund, and
 
    (b) a payment out of the Fund shall be made by the Treasury in accordance with a credit granted under paragraph (a).
      (4) A payment or issue made under this section shall be recorded in-
 
 
    (a) the daily account under section 15(5) of the Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1866 (Consolidated Fund), or
 
    (b) the daily statement under section 1(2) of the National Loans Act 1968 (National Loans Fund).
 
Departmental accounts
Resource accounts: preparation.     5. - (1) A government department for which an estimate is approved by the House of Commons in respect of a financial year shall prepare accounts (to be known as resource accounts) for that year detailing-
 
 
    (a) resources acquired, held or disposed of by the department during the year, and
 
    (b) the use by the department of resources during the year.
      (2) Resource accounts shall be prepared in accordance with directions issued by the Treasury.
 
      (3) The Treasury shall exercise the power to issue directions under subsection (2) with a view to ensuring that resource accounts-
 
 
    (a) present a true and fair view,
 
    (b) conform to generally accepted accounting practice subject to such adaptations as are necessary in the context of departmental accounts, and
 
    (c) accord with guidance issued by the Treasury about the inclusion of an explanation of the difference between an item appearing in a department's estimate and a corresponding item appearing in or reflected in the department's resource accounts.
      (4) For the purpose of subsection (3)(a) and (b) the Treasury shall in particular-
 
 
    (a) have regard to any relevant guidance issued by the Accounting Standards Board Limited or any other body prescribed for the purposes of section 256 of the Companies Act 1985 (accounting standards), and
 
    (b) require resource accounts to include, subject to paragraph (a), a statement of financial performance, a statement of financial position and a cash flow statement.
      (5) A department which prepares resource accounts 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.
 
      (6) The Treasury shall, in the case of each department which is obliged to prepare accounts in accordance with subsection (1), appoint an official of the department as its accounting officer.
 
      (7) While a person holds appointment as a department's accounting officer he shall be responsible for-
 
 
    (a) the preparation of the department's resource accounts, and
 
    (b) their transmission to the Comptroller and Auditor General.
      (8) The Treasury may appoint an official of a department as accounting officer in respect of a particular part of the department's resource accounts; and that person shall be responsible for the preparation of that part of the accounts.
 
      (9) The following provisions of the Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1866 shall cease to have effect-
 
 
    (a) section 22 and Schedule A (appropriation accounts);
 
    (b) section 23 (mode of keeping accounts);
 
    (c) section 25 (balance sheet);
 
    (d) section 26 (statements of adjustments and excesses);
 
    (e) section 31 (objections by Comptroller and Auditor General).
 
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