HC Deb 17 September 2004 vol 424 c1861W
Mr. Bacon

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office who the Finance Director of the(a) Central Office of Information and (b) Cabinet Office is; what accountancy qualifications each Director holds; and on how many occasions there has been a qualified opinion on (i) the resource accounts and (ii) other accounts of each in the last five years. [183433]

Ruth Kelly

The Finance Director of the Central Office of Information is Graham Beasant, who is a Chartered Management Accountant.

In the last five years:No Resource Accounts have been qualified.No Trading Fund Accounts have been qualified.

The Finance Director of the Cabinet Office is Jerry Page, who is a Chartered Management Accountant.

In the last five years:Resource Accounts 1999–2000 received a qualified opinion and Resource Accounts 2002–03 received a disclaimer opinion, (that is the Comptroller and Auditor General was unable to form an opinion because the Accounts were not presented to him in sufficient time).Appropriation Accounts ceased in 2000–01 with the introduction of Resource Accounts. During their life, no Appropriation Accounts were qualified.

The main reason for the disclaimer opinion on the 2002–03 accounts was because of deficiencies in the Cabinet Office financial systems and processes, which meant that the accounts took several months to prepare. The Cabinet Office is currently undertaking a major overhaul of its financial systems and processes to help it meet the Treasury's Faster Closing timetable, and consequently future years' accounts should be produced much more quickly, avoiding any disclaimed opinions.

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