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Report on Excess Votes (Northern Ireland) 2014-15

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 04 February 2016

Reference: NIA 302/11-16

ISBN: 978-1-78619-160-1

Mandate Number: 2011 - 2016

report-for-web-excess-vote-2014-15.pdf (372.38 kb)


This report by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Excess Votes is part of the Northern Ireland Assembly’s control framework over government spending. The Committee considers the reports by the Comptroller and Auditor General on resource accounts of departments that have exceeded the limits of expenditure authorised by the Northern Ireland Assembly (the Assembly).  The Committee recommends whether the Assembly should approve further resources to the bodies concerned in order to regularise the excess expenditure.  Where the excesses are the results of failures in control within departments, the Committee may make recommendations to departments concerning the causes of these excesses. The system of resource–based Supply requires departments to estimate and manage the resources they will need during a financial year on an accruals basis, as well as the cash they will need as commitments mature.  The Assembly authorises both cash spending and the use of resources. In 2014-15 two bodies incurred excess expenditure. The specific cases were: • the Northern Ireland Assembly Commission  incurred a resource excess of £0.95 million as it failed to include sufficient cover for its’ payment obligations for pensions within the Spring Supplementary Estimates; and • the Department of Finance and Personnel – Superannuation and Other Allowances Account incurred a resource excess of £68.33 million as a result of a misunderstanding in relation to the interest rate to be used when calculating the amount of expenditure for the Supply Estimates.   On the basis of our examination of the reasons why these bodies exceeded their voted provisions, the Committee recommends that the Assembly provides the necessary amounts by means of an Excess Vote.

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