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NAO Headquarters

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 11 December 2008

3. For what reasons the Public Accounts Commission recently approved additional funding of £5.8 million for the project to refurbish the headquarters of the National Audit Office. (242324)

We approved extra funding because the initial work identified problems with asbestos, structural defects and, unexpectedly, construction-cost inflation. Those problems could not have been anticipated at the outset.

In view of the extra funding, can we be sure that the project will still deliver its original aims and meet its 2009 deadline? Will the revised budget of £83.24 million be the final figure?

The NAO has given us an absolute assurance on all those points. It will deliver on time next year, and within the new budget.

The right hon. Gentleman will know of the John Tiner report into the governance of the NAO. What does he think that the auditors will say about the refurbishments? Are there any plans to rotate the auditors?

We do rotate the auditors, and I cannot envisage that they will have any problem with these budget increases.