Paper Trail: Accounting Officer, Department of Health

Stumbled across on the Department of Health website, this statement:

The Permanent Secretary and Principal Accounting Officer at the Department of Health (DH) is accountable to Parliament for the proper use of the resources allocated to the Department.

The [Permanent Secretary and Principal] Accounting Officer has responsibilities for:

  • ensuring that all the expenditure of DH, its arm’s-length bodies and the NHS (including NHS trusts and NHS foundation trusts) is contained within the overall budget
  • assuring that individual organisations within the system are performing their functions and duties effectively and have the necessary governance and controls to ensure regularity, propriety and value for money; and
  • ensuring that Ministers are appropriately advised on all matters of financial propriety and regularity, and value for money, across the systems for which the Department is responsible for.

This Accounting Officer system statement provides further information on the role of the accounting officer in relation to the NHS, public health and adult social care and arrangements after April 2013.

Can you use this as a starting point for exploring accountability or how to ‘follow the money’ in the NHS? Perhaps the holder of this position has to submit reports – and if so, where can they be found?

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