A History of British National Audit: The Pursuit of Accountability

Hardcover | January 21, 2017

byDavid Dewar, Warwick Funnell

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The core theme of the book is the importance of an independent state audit to ensure that the Executive is held accountable to Parliament. Instilling effective financial control and accountability for the use of public funds and the proper conduct of public business has been an incrementalprocess that has taken centuries. This book provides a detailed history of the forces and personalities involved in the development of public sector audit, including the battles which extended well into the 20th century to establish a public sector audit that was constitutionally and in practice independent from the influence andcontrol of the Executive. It identifies key themes that have emerged and re-emerged in these developments, and the challenges and obstacles faced and overcome over the years to arrive at today's modern audit framework and to establish current principles and practice in accountability to Parliamentand the public. The book charts the movement of public sector audit from a focus on the presentation and accuracy of accounts to the introduction of the added dimension of ensuring that funds are spent only for purposes approved by Parliament and that resources have been used efficiently, effectively and witheconomy. It explores the seminal relationships of the NAO and its predecessors with the Treasury, spending departments and the Public Accounts Committee; and it deals with the impact of major changes still taking place in the objectives, management and delivery of government programmes and services,including the growing involvement of outside agencies and the private sector. The book reviews the NAO's current achievements, continuing challenges, developments in the range and nature of its work, and future priorities. Importantly, it provides an authoritative source of reference forprofessionals and academics, while remaining accessible to readers with a more general interest in the developments and issues examined.

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The core theme of the book is the importance of an independent state audit to ensure that the Executive is held accountable to Parliament. Instilling effective financial control and accountability for the use of public funds and the proper conduct of public business has been an incrementalprocess that has taken centuries. This book pro...

David Dewar was educated at Leith Academy, Edinburgh. He joined Exchequer and Audit Department (EandAD) in 1953, National Service 1953-55, and re-joined EandAD in 1955. He was Chief Auditor in 1966: Deputy Director of Audit in 1973: Director of Audit in 1977: Deputy Secretary in EandAD 1981: Assistant Auditor General NAO in 1984-94. Pr...
Format:HardcoverDimensions:336 pages, 9.21 × 6.02 × 0.01 inPublished:January 21, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198790317

ISBN - 13:9780198790310

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Table of Contents

1. A Sense Of History2. Medieval Beginnings3. Advance And Retreat in the Financial Supremacy of Parliament4. The Awakening5. Early Victorian Reform6. The 1866 Audit Act and the Modern State7. Audit, Accountability and the Impact of the Two World Wars8. Post War Strengths and Challenges9. Audit In The Time of the New Public Sector Management10. The National Audit Office11. Recurring Themes and Continuing ChangeAppendices