Accounting Officers are the most senior permanent official in a department - the permanent secretary, or the chief executive of a Government agency, who are personally accountable to Parliament for the use of public money in delivering Government policy, projects and programmes. It is most usually the Accounting Officer that is questioned by the Public Accounts Committee in its twice-weekly inquiry evidence hearings.
Five years ago the Treasury introduced the requirement for a department’s Accounting Officer to personally review its major projects and programmes against four criteria – regularity, propriety, feasibility and value for money – and to publish a summary. These are known as Accounting Officer assessments.
The Committee will question senior officials at the Cabinet Office, Treasury and Infrastructure Projects Authority on how the arrangements are working in practice and whether they are improving the transparency of decision making and supporting value for money in the major programmes where PAC repeatedly reports on failures of delivery, delays and budget overruns.
If you have evidence on the impact of the Accounting Officer Assessment process please submit it here by 6pm Monday 11 July 2022.