HC Deb 05 November 1979 vol 973 c6W
Mr. Watson

asked the Minister for the Civil Service, how many persons are employed in the office of the Comptroller and Auditor General; and how many are qualified chartered accountants.

Mr. Channon

The present strength of Exchequer and Audit Department is 672, of whom 574 are audit staff and the remainder are clerical, typing and other supporting staff. Since 1975 all new recruits have been required to qualify as members of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy whose courses and examinations are particularly relevant to the accounting and audit requirements of the public sector. All new entrants are graduates. At present, the Department has one chartered accountant and 13 other staff who are qualified members of a professional accountancy body or the Chartered Institute of Secretaries and Administrators. A further 170 are at various stages of training for such qualifications. Prior to 1975 all audit staff had to pass external examinations following a comprehensive training programme specially designed to meet the Department's needs but not leading to a recognised accountancy qualification.