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Tiner Report

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 11 December 2008

9. With reference to paragraph 89 of the report of John Tiner on corporate governance arrangements for the National Audit Office, whether the external auditors will be appointed on a rotating basis. (242330)

We agree with John Tiner’s recommendation, subject to retaining the requirement that the commission approve the auditors’ appointment. The NAO’s audit committee will recommend a firm to the NAO board, which will appoint the auditors, subject to the approval of the Public Accounts Commission. The NAO already rotates its auditors—something that concerns the Government—in line with best practice.

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for answering the question twice. Would it not have helped if the banks had followed that practice of rotating auditors, as they might not then have got into such a mess?

Certainly, that is best practice at the moment, and it is thoroughly recommended. If the banks have not been doing it, it is about time that they started doing it.