National Audit Office
The role of the National Audit Office is to:
Audit the accounts of all government departments and agencies as well as a wide range of other public bodies
Report to Parliament on the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which these bodies have used public money.
The Audit and inspection rights are vested in the head of the National Audit Office, the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG). The staff of the National Audit Office carry out these tasks on his behalf.
Parliament, the public sector and the citizen
We hold government to account for the way it uses public money.
We support, by helping public service managers improve performance.
We safeguard the interests of citizens who as taxpayers are responsible for paying for public services.
We champion the interests of citizens as users of public services.
The Comptroller and Auditor General is an Officer of the House of Commons, appointed by the Queen on an address proposed by the Prime Minister with the agreement of the Chairman of the Committee of Public Accounts and approved by the House of Commons.
He appoints the professional staff, currently numbering around 900, of the NAO who are not civil servants and therefore independent of government.
The C&AG and the NAO have comprehensive statutory rights of access to the bodies we audit.
Our budget is set by Parliament, not the Government of the day. About a fifth of our budget comes from income generated, including audit fees paid by our international clients.
Oversight of the NAO is carried out by the Parliamentary Public Accounts Commission who appoint our external auditors and scrutinise our performance.
Our current strategy is to focus our work programme on three broad areas where analysis of our work across government shows that performance issues occur most often.
Cost Effective delivery
We want to help departments to improve the quality of their decision-making and to drive waste out of their delivery networks more effectively.
Financial Management and Reporting
We want to help the bodies we audit to improve their allocation and control of public money, through more robust financial management and increasingly transparent reporting.
We want to help central government make better use of information to achieve improved performance and productivity, as well as to support clearer accountability.
The NAO does not audit local government spending, publish statistical information or audit the spending of the devolved governments in the rest of the UK.