Skip to main content

NAO Corporate Plan

Volume 481: debated on Thursday 23 October 2008

1. What the procedure is for the Public Accounts Commission’s consideration of the National Audit Office’s corporate plan. (229204)

The National Audit Office normally prepares a corporate plan in July each year. The Public Accounts Commission then questions the Comptroller and Auditor General, and if it is content, it approves the plan.

What support is the National Audit Office providing to Select Committees of the House, and does it have any plans to extend it?

The National Audit Office has plans to extend the support it gives, but that work is growing rapidly anyway. The NAO provides support within its areas of expertise, such as analysis of financial statements, value for money, performance evaluation and financial management and reporting. In addition, it provides staff on short-term secondments to Select Committees and to the Committee Office scrutiny unit. As I have said, the support has been increasing. In 2007-08, the NAO assisted 17 parliamentary Select Committees in addition to the Public Accounts Committee.

The right hon. Gentleman will know that one of the new roles that the Government have given the National Audit Office is to audit the figures in the Red Book following the pre-Budget statement. An increasing task in that Red Book work will be on the alarming increase in debt, which has to be repaid and serviced. Can he give the House an assurance that there will be sufficient resources in the National Audit Office’s corporate plan to deal with that increasing task?

At the moment, the corporate plan has an increase of 3 per cent. a year for the next three years. I have received no representations for any extra resources as yet. Obviously, if there were a request, we would consider it.