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Control of public sector spending

Chris Dillow wonders if Gordon Brown is actually in control of public sector spending, the unwritten suggestion being that he isn't.

In order for an organisation to be in control of spending, it has to have a time phased budget, and regular reports of its performance against budget. For a group of organisations like the government the results of the individual units have to be consolidated to give an overall picture of the group performance.

As far as I know, most public sector organistions are not able to produce accurate management accounts within a reasonable time after the period end. The government is certainly not able to produce consolidated accounts at any time, let alone monthly. Huge corrections at the year end are the norm, rather than the exception.

How then can it even be suggested that the government is in control of its spending? 

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Reader Comments (1)

It's been said before, but bears repeating, that were government departments held to the same standards of corporate accountability as businesses, the SFO would have their Ministers and senior civil servants up before the beak (O happy thought). I'd love to see Gordon Brown in chokey for the cash-for-peerages scandal, but he really deserves incarceration for his God-awful handling of several trillion pounds of other people's monmey.
Dec 27, 2006 at 8:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Gillies

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