§ Mr. Chetwynd
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent inquiry has been made into the existing systems of accounting in Government Departments; and what the results of that inquiry have been.
§ Sir S. Cripps
Yes. A Committee was appointed in November, 1947, under the 91W Chairmanship of Mr. W. F. Crick to examine the existing systems of accounting in Departments in the light of modern accounting practice, and to make recommendations for improvements, with particular reference to:
- (a) possible economies in manpower,
- (b) the preservation of effective control of expenditure and providing adequate information for the management of the Department;
- (c) the possibility of improving the contribution made from Government accounts to the statistical material available to the central offices of Government and the various Departments.
The Committee was composed of experts both from within the Government service and from the accounting and commercial world, and it has presented a unanimous Report. In view of the authoritative standing of the Committee and the importance of the subject with which it deals, I have decided that the Report should be published as a Command Paper, and it is now available to hon. Members as Command No. 7969.
This Report deals with a wide variety of topics, many of which are of a highly technical and complex nature. It will necessarily be some considerable time before the thorough and prolonged examination which its recommendations deserve can be completed, and final decisions upon them can be taken. Hon. Members will not, therefore, expect any early indication, even in a preliminary way, of the attitude of His Majesty's Government to the Report as a whole, or to any of its individual recommendations. I should, however, like to take this opportunity of expressing my gratitude to the Chairman and members of the Committee for the comprehensive study which they have made of the whole subject, and for the most informative and valuable Report which they have submitted,