CIPFA welcomes Whole of Government Accounts publication

01-11-2012

CIPFA has welcomed the publication of the UK Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) 2010-11. The UK is the first country to publish accounts covering the whole of the public sector including both central and local services, placing it at the international forefront of government reporting.

Compared to 2009-10, the publication of the 2010-11 WGA represents a further increase in the transparency of public finances. This second year of WGA includes comparative information, enabling movements in assets and liabilities to be assessed.

CIPFA is pleased to note that the WGA has been published a month earlier than last year and that even earlier certification is an objective for 2011-12. This is essential to maximise the use of the information contained within the WGA for decision making.

The Comptroller and Auditor General has issued a qualified opinion on the accounts. This was expected and is a reflection of the scale of the technical challenge involved in preparing WGA. Going forward, Government will no doubt be looking to address and remove these qualifications.

Paul Mason, CIPFA’s Assistant Director for Central Government, said:

“The publication of the second Whole of Government Accounts shows encouraging progress but also that there is still a long way to go. The need for this information has never been greater, and we encourage all interested parties to support HM Treasury as they further develop WGA.”

ENDS Contact: Tim Windle CIPFA Press Office t 0207 543 5787 e tim.windle@cipfa.org.uk

Notes to Editors:
  • The Government’s announcement and the Whole of Government Accounts can be viewed here: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/press_102_12.htm
  • The WGA supplements National Accounts information by providing more information on assets and liabilities.
  • One new qualification relates to the valuation of schools’ assets included in the WGA. This arises in part because central government departments consolidate other bodies in their accounts on the basis of the Office for National Statistics classification whereas other parts of the public sector consolidate on the basis of IFRS. This is an area requiring further work and CIPFA is engaging with all interested stakeholders to address this qualification.

About CIPFA

CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, is the professional body for people in public finance. Our 14,000 members work throughout the public services, in national audit agencies, in major accountancy firms, and in other bodies where public money needs to be effectively and efficiently managed. As the world’s only professional accountancy body to specialise in public services, CIPFA’s portfolio of qualifications are the foundation for a career in public finance. They include the benchmark professional qualification for public sector accountants as well as a postgraduate diploma for people already working in leadership positions. They are taught by our in-house CIPFA Education and Training Centre as well as other places of learning around the world. We also champion high performance in public services, translating our experience and insight into clear advice and practical services. They include information and guidance, courses and conferences, property and asset management solutions, consultancy and interim people for a range of public sector clients. Globally, CIPFA shows the way in public finance by standing up for sound public financial management and good governance. We work with donors, partner governments, accountancy bodies and the public sector around the world to advance public finance and support better public services. This includes the development of local professional qualifications in African countries like Lesotho and Nigeria and in Europe in post conflict states in the Balkans.