NAO reports to compare similar projects run by different departments

The National Audit Office (NAO) will “start doing comparative reports of similar activities in departments” from next year, comptroller and auditor general Amyas Morse has said.

By CivilServiceWorld

15 Jul 2013

Speaking at Civil Service Live in London last week, Morse said: “I have already commissioned a look at a Ministry of Defence PFI contract, which we’ll compare with the PFI contract that’s going to be in place for buying rolling stock for Thameslink.”

A spokesperson for the NAO said that the organisation is still considering options for taking this series of investigations forward.

Morse was responding to a question about the Public Accounts Committee’s understanding of finance management. He said he hopes “the committee will learn even more about how finance management works” from the comparative reports.

The NAO and the government finance profession have this month launched a joint document setting out how they plan to improve financial management across government.

At CSL, Morse said that an effective finance function within a department should enable all decision-makers to “understand how to make decisions properly, which is to say with strong supporting information that allows them to make rational, well-balanced decisions.”

Over the next two years, all Whitehall departments will carry out a review of their financial management capability, using a common assessment model. The Cabinet Office and HM Treasury will be the first departments to carry out these reviews.

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