HC Deb 20 January 1998 vol 304 cc470-1W
Mr. Mitchell

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will take steps to ensure that all publicly financed bodies comply with accounting standards on off-balance sheet transactions. [23459]

Mr. Geoffrey Robinson

The relevant accounting standard for dealing with off-balance sheet transactions is Financial Reporting Standard 5 "Reporting the substance of transactions", which forms part of Generally Accepted Accounting Practice (GAAP) in the UK.

The Treasury already requires departments, agencies and non-departmental public bodies to prepare their accounts and public expenditure returns in accordance with GAAP, to the extent that it is meaningful and appropriate in the public sector context. It is the duty of the responsible Accounting Officer to ensure that this requirement is adhered to.