Abstracts: December 17th, 2003

The Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) programme is being extended from Central Government to councils, NHS Trusts and other public bodies. WGA, which mirrors commercial accounting, will increase the completeness of public sector financial data by providing information on items not currently in existing measures of public finance such as provisions, contingent liabilities and future contract expenditure. The WGA programme aims to progressively increase the amount of audited data included directly in the UK National Accounts. Benefits include providing a source of robust audited financial data for central government to support policy analysis and resource allocation.The data required will be drawn from the information in published accounts, but there will also be a need to collect information on major transaction streams and balances. Dry running of the new style accounts will start in 2004/05 and full implementation will take place in 2006/07.

Treasury guidance is available at: http:www.wga.gov.uk