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Open Public Accounts

Comment 6th July 2010

That all accounts of public finances should operate on an 'Open Book' policy.  This would enable any and all of us to know where our money is going and to whom it is being paid.  It would also enable competitive undercutting which would reduce public expenditure in the future.

Why does this matter?

At the moment a great deal of public money is used in contracts covered by 'commercial in confidence'  clauses.  This means that the public do not know how much money private companies have been paid for the services they provide to government agencies, both local and national.

Without knowing how much a service has cost it is not possible to determine whether it represents good value or not.

The air of secrecy currently surrounding such contracts adds to the suspicion that someone, somewhere is getting a kickback, when this may not be the case.  Often these companies have links with the government, either through partial ownership by MPs, or previous MPs and Peers sitting on the board.  There may be no wrong doing but it is bad for appearances.

Let's have open accounts so everyone knows how much everyone has been paid and for what.

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