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Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Volume 453: debated on Monday 27 November 2006

To ask the Chairman of the Public Accounts Commission (1) what the causes have been of the delay in finalising and publishing the National Audit Office report into the use by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of public funds in relation to the management of staff including the handling of grievance-type issues; when meetings were held between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the National Audit Office (NAO) to discuss the draft report; on what dates correspondence was exchanged between the FCO and the NAO on the contents of the draft report after the NAO submitted the draft to the FCO in August; and if he will make a statement; (102726)

(2) when the National Audit Office expects to publish its report into the use by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of public funds in relation to the management of staff including the handling of grievance-type issues.

The National Audit Office received complaints from three employees of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office about the Department’s handling of grievances. Following discussions with the Department the National Audit Office has reviewed the Department’s procedures. The National Audit Office has provided the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with its provisional audit findings, setting out its recommendations to management for improvement. These are being discussed with the Department and are expected to be finalised in December, The review is not part of the programme of major studies on which the Comptroller and Auditor General reports to Parliament under the National Audit Act 1983.