§ Mr. Ralph Howell
To ask the chairman of the Public Accounts Commission what was the total number of staff of the Comptroller and Auditor-General in 1961, 1970, 1980 and 1990; and how many were qualified accountants in each of those years.
§ Sir Peter Hordern
The number of staff employed by the Exchequer and Audit Department and its successor body, the National Audit Office, are shown below together with the numbers of qualified accountants. It should be noted that the role and responsibilities of the National Audit Office as set out in the National Audit Act 1983 are significantly enhanced from those of the Exchequer and Audit Department.
Total staff Trained Accountants Qualified Accountants 1961 536 364 3 1970 585 383 5 1980 689 398 15 1990 911 161 278
Before 1975, all recruits to the audit grades has to pass external examinations following a three-year training programme specially designed to meet the Department's needs but not leading to a recognised accountancy qualification. Since 1975, all audit staff recruits have been required either to possess a recognised accountancy qualification or to study for one.
In addition, at 31 December 1990, 240 staff were at various stages of training towards a professional qualification.