Amyas Morse, the Comptroller and Auditor General, has limited the scope of his audit opinion on the regularity of expenditure in the 2009-10 Resource Accounts that report the costs of the MPs’ Expenses Scheme. This is the first audit to be carried out following a decision by the House to remove restrictions on the scope of the C&AG’s work, which means that he is now required to look beyond an MP’s signature in assessing the regularity of a claim.
The qualification arises because the House authorities were unable to provide evidence to support payments to MPs of £2.6 million, including £0.8 million that remains unsupported despite a major exercise to obtain evidence retrospectively and £1.8 million where evidence is not available for audit because the MPs are under investigation by the police.
In addition, the evidence supporting £11.3 million of costs reimbursed to Members was not sufficient for the C&AG to confirm the expenditure had been incurred for Parliamentary purposes. This is despite the evidence having been obtained in accordance with the rules governing the MPs’ Expenses Scheme.
15 December 2010