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Treasury accounts held back as auditor refuses to sign off

THE National Audit Office (NAO) has refused to sign off the accounts of five public bodies &ndash; including the Treasury &ndash; it was revealed yesterday. <br /><br />It raised questions over the Treasury&rsquo;s accounts because the department failed to to agree its toxic assets insurance scheme with parliament.<br /><br />And it emerged that the NAO had &ldquo;qualified&rdquo; the accounts of four other bodies, meaning it has further questions that need answering. <br /><br />The accounts of the Ministry of Defence, HM Revenue and Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions failed to get the approval of the auditors.<br /><br />And the Equality and Human Rights Commission made unauthorised consultancy payments to seven former members, totalling &pound;323,708, drawing criticism from the auditors.<br /><br />This is only the second time in the Treasury&rsquo;s 350-year history it has had its accounts queried by the auditors.<br /><br />The NAO said overall the Treasury spent &pound;24bn more last year than parliament had authorised.<br /><br />The Treasury said the move is a &ldquo;technical&rdquo; hitch and no concerns have been raised about the &pound;20bn to &pound;50bn price tag of the scheme.