Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) consolidates the audited accounts of around 3000 organisations across the public sector in order to produce a comprehensive, accounts-based picture of the financial position of the UK public sector. WGA is based on EU-adopted International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), the system of accounts used internationally by the private sector.
WGA is a major step forward in transparency and accountability. The government places a great deal of importance on fiscal transparency, and the role that it plays in its management of the public finances. Publication of the WGA supports the government’s agenda to make more public data available. The WGA is independently audited giving both Parliament and the outside world greater confidence in the figures, and supports effective scrutiny by Parliament. This scrutiny has been exercised by the Public Accounts Committee who look at each year’s accounts.
WGA is successfully providing a more complete view of the public finances, complementing the information contained in the key national accounts based measures used for managing the public finances. It is also being used to support longer term fiscal analysis, as evidenced by the Office of Budget Responsibility’s use of WGA data to inform its annual Fiscal Sustainability Report.
WGA is enabling the direct comparability of financial data across the public sector entities and is starting to produce trend data that will help to inform future analysis and decision making. For example, in the 2013 Spending Round, which set central government departments’ budgets and annually managed expenditure for 2015-16, account was taken of future commitments and liabilities that the WGA indicated to be building up.
COINS raw data
Following the publication of the Whole of Government Accounts (WGA) for 2011-12, the Combined Online Information System (COINS) raw data on which they were based were released on 31 October 2013. This is in addition to the raw data released on 22 October 2013, for the other COINS data streams, for the years 2008-09 to 2012-13. As with previous COINS data releases, certain data have been redacted ie that relating to the security services.
No changes have been made to the data structures since the release of WGA 2010-11 raw data.
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