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

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Resource accounts: scrutiny.     6. - (1) The Comptroller and Auditor General shall examine any resource accounts which he receives from a department under section 5(5) with a view to satisfying himself-
 
 
    (a) that the accounts present a true and fair view,
 
    (b) that money provided by Parliament has been expended for the purposes intended by Parliament,
 
    (c) that resources authorised by Parliament to be used have been used for the purposes in relation to which the use was authorised, and
 
    (d) that the department's financial transactions are in accordance with any relevant authority.
      (2) If resource accounts appear to the Comptroller and Auditor General to suggest that a material use of resources required but did not receive the authority of the Treasury-
 
 
    (a) he shall inform the Treasury, and
 
    (b) if the Treasury sanction the use of resources, he shall treat it as always having had the Treasury's authority.
      (3) Where the Comptroller and Auditor General has conducted an examination of accounts under subsection (1)-
 
 
    (a) he shall certify them and issue a report,
 
    (b) he shall send the certified accounts and the report to the Treasury not later than 15th January of the financial year following that to which the accounts relate, and
 
    (c) if he is not satisfied of the matters set out in subsection (1)(a) to (d), he shall report to the House of Commons.
      (4) The Treasury shall lay accounts and reports received under subsection (3)(b) before the House of Commons not later than 31st January of the financial year following that to which they relate.
 
      (5) Section 1 of the Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1921 (examination of appropriation accounts) shall cease to have effect.
 
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 contain such information in such form as the Treasury think fit.
 
      (4) In determining the form and content of the accounts the Treasury shall aim to ensure that the accounts-
 
 
    (a) present a true and fair view, and
 
    (b) conform to generally accepted accounting practice subject to such adaptations as are necessary in the context.
      (5) For the purpose of subsection (4)(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) ensure that the accounts include, subject to paragraph (a), a statement of financial performance, a statement of financial position and a cash flow statement.
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 or giving a direction under subsection (5) 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.
 
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