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Accounting officers in government departments are accountable to Parliament for the proper stewardship of the resources allocated to the department. Details of the requirements to ensure regularity, propriety and value for money are set out in HM Treasury’s guidance Managing Public Money.
Sir Bob Kerslake, the Permanent Secretary of the Department for Communities and Local Government, proposed in his report Accountability: Adapting to decentralisation, published in September 2011, that in future, departmental accounting officers should publish accountability system statements. These should explain how they achieve accountability for the funds they distribute to local bodies. This allows accounting officers to demonstrate that, as the government moves to decentralise power to local communities, the appropriate accountability mechanisms are in place.
This document sets out the present accountability system for Work and Pensions. It has been agreed by Robert Devereux as accounting officer and Permanent Secretary of the Department for Work and Pensions.