Treasury neglecting role as finance ministry, says PAC

The Treasury’s financial accounts are “impenetrable” and the department is neglecting its duty to prevent poor spending decisions, according to a Public Accounts Committee (PAC) report published last Friday.

By Joshua.Chambers

21 Feb 2013

The Treasury “appears to neglect its role as the finance ministry: its own accounts are impenetrable and its departmental ministerial board met only once in 2011-12, limiting its ability to steer the Treasury and the rest of government,” the PAC said. “As a finance ministry, it also must exercise central oversight and prevent poor spending decisions, but we keep seeing instances… where departments made poor decisions which the Treasury should and could have prevented”.

The PAC report also criticises high staff turnover at the Treasury: the rate fell in 2011-12 from 28 per cent to 16 per cent, but PAC said this is “still very high.” One of Treasury permanent secretary Sir Nick Macpherson’s appraisal targets is to reduce this to 15-20 per cent.

A Treasury spokesperson said: “The Treasury is committed to delivering growth and rebalancing the UK economy to ensure it succeeds in the global race.”

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