asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many Government Departments are authorised to maintain suspense accounts out of which interest-free loans are provided to the staff of the Department as is done by the Foreign Office; and by what means the cost of providing loans free of interest is brought to account in published documents available to Parliament.
Departments do not require prior Treasury authority to open suspense accounts. The established rule is, however, that all such accounts must be closed at the end of a financial year by the transfer of any balances to the relevant published account. Any exception to this rule would require prior authority. The cost of providing loans free of interest should be displayed in the Appropriation Account of the Vote responsible for the transactions.