“The National Topographic Database is a unique national asset, the creation of which has been funded from public money over the years.
“Because I disagree with the view taken by the Ordnance Survey on the appropriate accounting treatment for this database, I have qualified my opinion on the Agency’s first set of accounts as a Trading Fund. The failure by the Ordnance Survey to recognise the database as a tangible fixed asset means that the Agency’s accounts do not provide Parliament with a true and fair view of the publicly owned assets under the Agency’s stewardship.
“Finally, and speaking more broadly, at a time when Ministers have decided, and Parliament has endorsed, that all central government departments and agencies should move to a new regime of resource accounts, wherein more attention is to be paid to the valuation of assets than had ever been the practice under the old style cash accounts, it is surprising to find an important body like Ordnance Survey seeking to turn its back on the thrust of the new approach.”
20 Dec 2000