Treasury comes under fire from PAC

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Nick Huber
Freelance journalist
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The Treasury’s accounts are “impenetrable” and are failing to prevent other departments from making poor decisions, according to a report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

“The Treasury acts as both the finance ministry and economic ministry. But it appears to neglect its role as finance ministry,” said Margaret Hodge MP, chair of the Committee of Public Accounts. 

“Its own accounts [for 2011-2012] are impenetrable and this committee keeps seeing instances of poor decision making by departments, which the Treasury could and should have prevented.”

One example where more effective Treasury intervention could have saved the taxpayer from the cost of poor decisions was “offshore transmission” when a new market was designed without learning the lessons of PFI.

Similarly, the Treasury must help the Department for Transport learn lessons from the collapse of the West Coast Main Line franchising, the committee said.

“Overall, we are worried that there is a lack of in-depth commercial skills throughout the civil service to contract well with private sector providers.”

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16th Feb 2013 11:33

Margaret Hodge v HMRC

Here's something that's worth the hour listening now we all have a little bit more time post 31 Jan....

Its the showing of the Public Accounts committee that met on 28 Jan. There's quite a lot of discussion about RTI and how HMRC call centres are going to cope. The Chairman Margaret Hodge concludes that they wont (are we surprised?).

Plus - just watch Lin Homer (Chief Executive & Permanent Secretary) and Ruth Owen (Director General Personal TAX HMRC) squirm when Ms Hodge has a go at them about 0845 numbers! Priceless!  

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