Comptroller and Auditor General (United Kingdom)

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The Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) in the United Kingdom is the government official responsible for supervising the quality of public accounting and financial reporting. The C&AG is an officer of the House of Commons who is the head of the National Audit Office, the body that scrutinises central government expenditure.

Under the Budget Responsibility and National Audit Act 2011, the C&AG is appointed by the monarch by letters patent upon an address of the House of Commons presented by the prime minister with the agreement of the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, and can only be removed from office by the monarch upon an address of both Houses of Parliament.

The full title of the office is Comptroller General of the Receipt and Issue of Her Majesty's Exchequer and Auditor General of Public Accounts.

The current C&AG is Sir Amyas Morse, who was formerly the Commercial Director at the Ministry of Defence.

History[edit]

Historically, the Comptroller of the Household was a position in the English royal household, the second-ranking member of the Lord Steward's department.

The office of Comptroller General of the Exchequer was created by the Receipt of the Exchequer Act 1834, and had responsibility for authorising the issue of public monies from the Treasury to government departments.

The office of C&AG was created by the Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1866 which combined the functions of the Comptroller General of the Exchequer with those of the Commissioners of Audit, who had traditionally presented the government accounts to the Treasury.[1] Under the terms of the Act, the C&AG continued to authorise the issue of money to departments (the comptroller function) and was given the new task of examining departmental accounts and reporting the results to Parliament. The role has since been replicated in many Commonwealth and foreign countries.

List of Comptrollers and Auditors General[edit]

Devolved administrations[edit]

Wales[edit]

The Auditor General for Wales is the public official in charge of the Wales Audit Office, the body responsible for auditing the Welsh Assembly Government and £20 billion of taxpayers' money each year. It is a statutory appointment made by Her Majesty the Queen, in accordance with the provisions of Schedule 8 to the Government of Wales Act 2006.

Scotland[edit]

The role of Auditor General for Scotland is held by Caroline Gardner who replaced the first Auditor General, Robert Black, in July 2012.[2]

Northern Ireland[edit]

The Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland is the head of the Northern Ireland Audit Office (NIAO) with responsibility for public audit in Northern Ireland.[3]

Other Comptrollers and Auditors General[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Exchequer and Audit Departments Act 1866, section 5.
  2. ^ Audit Scotland Auditor General for Scotland accessed 25 September 2012
  3. ^ Comptroller and Auditor General for Northern Ireland accessed 4 March 2015