Gareth Davies, the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) of the National Audit Office, has reported on the 2018-19 accounts of the British Tourist Authority (BTA), trading as VisitBritain & VisitEngland.

He has qualified his audit opinion because of £1.115 million of irregular expenditure by the BTA as part of a number of contracts worth more than £50,000 which were entered into through single tender agreements. The necessary approvals from the Department for Digital, Media, Culture & Sport were not obtained for these contracts.

Annual report and accounts

Audit certificate and report (pages 60-64)

“The last three audits of the British Tourist Authority have uncovered repeated failings in the way it has spent public money. The BTA has knowingly entered into contracts for which it did not have approval, disregarding regulations designed to ensure that public money is being spent as Parliament intended.

“The BTA needs to work closely with DCMS to significantly improve its internal controls on spending and ensure that it fulfils its obligations as a publicly-funded body.”

Gareth Davies, the Comptroller and Auditor General

Publication details

  • HC: 307, 2019-21

Press release

View press release (21 May 2020)

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