- Departmental Annual Report and Accounts (ARA) ought to provide taxpayers with a clear statement of how their money is being spent and what they’re getting for it.
- Most ARAs are currently dense and confusing for outsiders, lacking in meaningful output and performance measures, and bulked out with material not helpful in scrutinising value for money.
- HM Treasury’s 2014 proposals for restructuring ARAs offer an attractive way forward.
- The Performance section of the proposed new ARA should be structured around the services delivered to taxpayers rather than around departmental organisation. Output and performance numbers should appear alongside cost indicators allowing an assessment of overall value. Where possible benchmark comparisons should be included.
- Output, performance, and cost indicators presented in ARAs should correspond to those used in internal management information systems.
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