The National Audit Office employs some 550 staff, who either have accountancy qualifications or are training for them. Of those, 60 have degrees in economics, although none are full-time professional economists. The office conducts a wide range of studies. When specialised advice is needed on relevant economic issues, the NAO uses external experts.
I am familiar with the report to which my hon. Friend refers and I understand that the Public Accounts Commission has already considered it. It shows the good work which the National Audit Office does for the House and for Parliament generally in inquiring into administration rather than policy. It has also revealed that the index of suspects, which has some 340,000 names on it, is held in a manual that is updated by hand every day. It is hoped to move to a computer index soon, though some hon. Members may consider that that should have been done before.