Creating a fairer Britain
21 June 2011
The Equality and Human Rights Commission today issues its Annual Report and Accounts for 2009/10.
Over the 12 months covered by the report the Commission's achievements included:
In his report, the Comptroller and Auditor General outlines four issues which have led to the National Audit Office's decision to qualify the Commission's accounts. These are: irregular expenditure as a result of a breach of pay remit; irregular expenditure as a result of breaches of procurement delegations; irregular expenditure as a result of a breach in the losses delegations; and insufficient evidence to support the regularity of expenditure on legal grants.
However, the NAO recognises that many of the problems leading to qualification have their origins in the rushed start up of the Commission and states that it is pleased to recognize that the Commission has continued to make improvements to its management and financial controls.
Changes already in place include stronger board mechanisms and new senior managers with stronger financial experience; new internal auditors; a new procurement policy with mandatory training for all staff before they are allowed to procure goods or services; and a new system to ensure grant recipients account fully for how their monies are spent and what outcomes are achieved.
The Commission is committed to delivering value for public money and very much regrets the fact that its accounts have been qualified. It has just appointed a new, permanent CEO with a mandate to move quickly forward with plans already in place for extensive reform.
These reforms will allow the Commission to build on its successes, remedy the shortcomings of the past and fulfil its vision of an accountable and independent public body working with, and through, other organisations to be an ambitious catalyst for social change in Britain.
For more press information contact the Commission's media office on 020 3117 0255, out of hours 07767 272 818.
For general enquiries please contact the Commission's national helpline: England 0845 604 6610, Scotland 0845 604 5510 or Wales 0845 604 8810.
The Commission's Annual Report and Accounts can be found at: http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/about-us/corporate-reporting/annual-reports
The Equality and Human Rights Commission is a statutory body established under the Equality Act 2006. It is the independent advocate for equality and human rights in Britain. It aims to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination, strengthen good relations between people, and promote and protect human rights. The Commission enforces equality legislation on age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender status, and encourages compliance with the Human Rights Act. It also gives advice and guidance to businesses, the voluntary and public sectors, and to individuals.