Part of Orders of the Day — Government Resources and Accounts Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:45 am on 29th February 2000.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 5:45 am, 29th February 2000

I think that some trading funds would already be included under the existing wording.

Amendments Nos. 6 and 7 are to clause 10, whose aim is to allow us to get designated bodies to prepare and have audited consolidation packs-in the same way as subsidiaries of a commercial group prepare them. Those packs facilitate the consolidation process by gathering together accounts information in a standardised format.

Amendment No. 6, in respect of the consolidation pack for the whole year, would impose an additional requirement on bodies within the scope of whole of Government accounts to publish information that would essentially duplicate the contents of the annual accounts that they already have to publish. It would add an additional and unnecessary requirement that people do again something that they already do.

The two amendments together would also undermine the proposed consolidation process by removing the Treasury's rights to require the electronic submission of data and to set a deadline for those data to be submitted. Clearly, we want as much of the process as possible to be electronic. The amendments would damage the ability to achieve that.