Thursday, October 16, 2008

Who Should Audit the Audit Commission?

THIS really has to come under the category of 'You Couldn't Make it Up'. The Audit Commission, which is charged with investigating local authority investments into Icelandic banks, has revealed that it too had £10 million stashed away in Landsbanki and Heritable. And it was invested only three months ago. Oh dear.

Perhaps we should now be asking who should regulate the regulators?

24 comments:

Councillor Ted said...

The Audit Commission are the most corrupt and wasteful quango in town. They should be abolished, and the National Audit Office, who are properly accountable to Parliament, and not to Ministers, should take on the responsibility.

Bundred must resign.

Anonymous said...

Erm... who should regulate the regulators... Parliament? Just a guess, I mean afterall thats what we pay them for!

Bit like the Tory idea of having a Budget Oversight Department (or whatever they are going to call it) - DAFT. It's what parliament is meant to do!!

Fitaloon said...

Better late than never. The telegraph had this story about 8 hours ago. Amazing what you find whilst getting bored watching Mccain vs Obama.

diogenes said...

The phrase you are looking for is 'quis custodiet ipsos custodes?'

Anonymous said...

Quite why any quango has its own cash reserves is beyond me. They should be allowed a Bank of England current account apiece, and one cheque book at a time.

Has anyone figured out where the NHS strategic health authorities stashed their surpluses yet?

James Higham said...

What was it doing with £10m anyway?

Praguetory said...

The (in)action of the credit rating agencies is the real scandal.

Anonymous said...

I believe the best person to audit the audit commission is Gordon Brown our Superhero prime minister.

He is the only one. He is Super.

Anonymous said...

couldn't the NAO be audited by the EU Court of Auditors ?

after all experience in the field of 'creative accounting' should never be wasted.

David Logan said...

The Audit Commission is regulated by the National Audit Office and through them to Parliament. But it has always been the tool of Govt. [Often referred to as the bastard child of Thatcher and Heseltine]

The decline of the AC is a sad sight. I have carried out specialist consultancy work for them for many years. Many [but not all] of their operational staff are some of the brightest and best in the public sector.

However, since Bundred arrived their senior management have been even more prone to pressure from above and he has led them down a cul-de-sac.

They are no longer the 'value-for-money' body, and regulator of last resort for local govt; now they are just a NuLab management tool.

I will be sad to see them abolished (and considerably poorer), but it must be done.

Tom FD said...

Who should regulate the regulators of the regulators?

Paul said...

If only they had asked, I could have saved them the humiliation by putting it my Alliance & Leicester account. I would have even given them half of the interest.

Anonymous said...

Worse, it seems today when these cock-ups happen, no one resigns.

If anyone ever does go, it's with a full salary and big pension rights.

If these people are frittering away our money, what hope is there?

judith said...

What makes me so mad is that people like this (and councillors and MPs and MEPs and EU Commissioners etc, etc) have the damn gall to tell me how I should live MY life; they also confiscate large sums of MY money to give to others without my damn permission, the vast majority of which is wasted.

Could we start a campaign to at least get these Public Servants to apologise, for Heavens' sake? We've heard lots of tut-tutting about bankers and bonuses for ruining their own businesses, but where is the call from the powers that be to criticise the bonuses given to Civil Servants or NHS executives at the top of the tree who have run projects into the ground, or overspent by £millions?

Anonymous said...

Even more pathetic is their statement (on the BBC website today) that the loss of the £10m will make no material difference to operations. This sum of money appears to this "audit" office to be wholly superfluous, almost like lost change.

They also bleat that it was all the fault of external consultants and advisors, as do the local authorities who "invested" in Iceland. Yet these consultants were apparently simply following NAO guidelines!! It would be good to know if the "consultants" were gaining commissions from Iceland banks.

We taxpayers should be organising a final Bonfire of the Vanities where these useless prats of civil servants and their many "advisors" and other lackies are unceremoniously ditched.

Kipling said...

Scrap the Audit Commission, or take it down to it's very basics as administration, then contract out all of the auditing work to the Big 4 (as opposed to the current 1/4 - 1/3)who have profit incentives to carry out the work in an efficient manner.
Big 4 audit work tends to be of higher quality than the AC anyway, more qualified staff with incentives to succeed rather than the Whitehall malaise of AC civil servants.

Not a sheep said...

anon 2:17: The reason the NAO won't suffer any loss of operational effectiveness is because we the taxpayer will stump up any money they have lost.

Anonymous said...

Terribly sorry you guys and dolls but you must know that this country is beyond help. Haven't you read Private Eye's recent demolition of Sir John Bourn? Who he?
The former head of the National Audit Office.
Try emigrating while it is still possible.

Anonymous said...

Sir John Bourn - living proof that the age of the 18th century gentleman who comes to high office for profit and adventure is not yet over. Thank goodness - where would a wealthy gentleman go for his lavish expenses if not to government?

Of course, a shabby little schemer needs shabby little crooks as employers - who better than Messrs Blair, Brown, Mandlesohn, etc?

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:38 - it isn't just in the UK, corruption on a large scale is now an established feature of nearly all governments in all parts of the world - Britain used to be an honorable exception.

At least in the US they lock people up for it and the FBI aggressively investigate such criminality - here they get a slap on the wrists from a dozy H of C committee. The sleazy backslapping world of gentlemans clubs that Private Eye started satirising in the 60s is still very much with us.

Anonymous said...

Scrap the lot of 'em.

Anonymous said...

@ Councillor Ted "the National Audit Office, who are properly accountable to Parliament"

ummm see Private Eyes passim for its exposure of NAO

Guthrum said...

The (in)action of the credit rating agencies is the real scandal.

Rubbish, they are just the LGS scapegoats, the real scandal is the 2004 deregulation of specified investments that let every public Authority full rein on their Gordon Gecko instincts.

Rule 20 all investments had to be High Liquidity and High Security, Iceland was nothing of the sort.

I have listed on my blog that every party had a play at speculating with our cash- yet not one person is going to get sacked- that is the real scandal unaccountablr Government.

Alex said...

The Audit Commission are audited by the National Audit Office.

Why can't we do this like the French. All local council monies are deposited with the national treasury. When I have paid my income tax/VAT etc. the last thing I want to happen to it is for some town hall jobsworth to take a punt on some high yield Viking bank that he's never heard of who will put it into one of Robert Tchenguiz's property schemes.

They should be made to put it on deposit with the Bank of England or the Post Office, who would use it to buy gilts.