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NAO qualifies 2010 MPs’ expenses scheme accounts

THE GOVERNMENT’S AUDITOR has failed to give a clean bill of health on MPs’ expenses accounts due to a lack of evidence surrounding £14m of claims.

The 2009/2010 MPs’ expenses scheme accounts were qualified by the National Audit Office (NAO). Amyas Morse, comptroller and auditor general, qualified the accounts as the NAO was unable to confirm that millions of pounds of expenses expenditure had been incurred for parliamentary purposes.

Some £2.6m of expenses claims could not be supported as they were subject to police investigation. A further £800,000 remained unsupported despite “a major exercise to obtain evidence retrospectively”, said Morse’s report.

The evidence supporting £11.3m of costs reimbursed to members was insufficient for the NAO to confirm the expenditure was incurred for parliamentary purposes.

Some £98.1m was claimed by MPs in expenses during the year.

The accounts wree the first that the NAO carried out without restrictions on the auditor’s work. The comptroller and auditor general was allowed to look beyond an MP’s signature in assessing the regularity of a claim.

Members moved to a new expenses system, watched over by the newly-created Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, from 7 May 2010.


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