The National Audit Office expressed concern on accounts from the Department of Education’s academy program. The spending watchdog qualified its signing off of education accounts due to errors and uncertainties.
According to NAO, while the department’s finances operate in the normal financial year, academies work for the academic year and produce accounts at the end of August. To solve this problem, it says the DfE and the Education Funding Agency “hypothesized” financial data for the year to the end of August 2012. The watchdog identified a number of “errors and uncertainties” in the financial statements.
An Enormous Task
The DfE says it has made spending more transparent. “We are pleased that the NAO has signed off these accounts, but at the same time we note their comments and are committed to improving the process further,” a spokesman said. The department says that consolidating the accounts of more than 2,800 academies is an enormous task.