§ Mr. Bruce-Gardyne
asked the Secretary of State for Defence how many persons are employed in the Directorate-General of Internal Audit in his Department; what is the aggregate cost to public funds of this unit; what was the aggregate cost of travel and subsistence allowances drawn by members of this unit in the latest period of 12 months for which figures are available; how many of those employed in this unit have professional qualifications to conduct an audit; and if he will specify the respective responsibilities of this unit and of the Exchequer and Audit Department in respect of his Department.
§ Mr. Pym
The current strength of the Directorate-General of Internal Audit is 250 which is less than half the number employed on internal audit when the unit was set up in 1972. Its aggregate cost to public funds is approximately £3.8 641W million per annum. In the 12 months ending 30 September 1980 expenditure on travel and subsistence came to £368,000. There are 23 professionally qualified accountants in the unit of whom 15 belong to accountancy bodies whose members are qualified by law to audit company accounts. The unit is responsible for providing on behalf of my Department's Accounting Officers an objective review of the systems of control established to ensure the propriety, security, completeness and accuracy of departmental activities and an independent examination of the management of public funds and other departmental resources for which the accounting officers are ultimately responsible. The responsibilities of the Exchequer and Audit Department to the House of Commons are set out in the various Exchequer and Audit Departments Acts and include the external audit of the Ministry of Defence as of all other Government Departments. It is normal practice in large organisations in both the private and the public sectors to have arrangements for internal audit as well as for external audit.