The Treasury is continuing to improve the Whole of Government Accounts (WGA), which shows in a single document the overall financial position of the UK public sector. Since the National Audit Office last reported, the Treasury has taken forward a number of initiatives to improve the robustness, timeliness and quality of the WGA and to help the Government use the document to inform its understanding of its financial position.
The most significant achievement for this year has been in the timeliness of the delivery of the WGA. The Treasury has published the WGA 2013-14 within 12 months of the reporting date, the first time that the WGA has been published so quickly. This is a significant step forward for the WGA and will provide more effective transparency and accountability for how public finances are managed.
However, the head of the NAO, Comptroller and Auditor General Sir Amyas Morse, has again qualified the WGA because of continuing issues with the quality and consistency of the data included; and has again expressed concern that bodies such as Network Rail continue to be excluded even though accounting standards require their inclusion.
“We are strongly supportive of the way HM Treasury is moving forward with the Whole of Government Accounts project. The Department is improving the content of the WGA and the document has been produced faster than ever. This is welcome and represents a significant step forward for the WGA.”
Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, 26 March 2015