ARCHIVE: Accounts direction for executive NDPBs and public corporations
This guidance applies to executive NDPBs and public corporations, and is aimed at executive NDPBs, public corporation and sponsors.
This guidance is mandatory for executive NDPBs and public corporations, except in cases where there is no statutory or other requirement for an accounts direction.
The accounts direction is the formal document issued by the secretary of state, with the consent of Treasury. It specifies the information to be given in the accounts, the manner in which it is to be presented, and the methods and principles on which the accounts are to be based.
The founding legislation for executive NDPBs and public corporations nearly always provide for the sponsoring department to issue direction as to the information to be contained in the accounts.
The accounts direction should be reviewed annually, although it will normally remain in force until further notice. Ideally, sponsors should issue the direction before the start of the financial year to which it relates. Where this is not possible, they should issue it as early as practicable during the year.
As a matter of policy, sponsors should seek the Treasury’s approval to changes in accounting requirements, even if such approval is not specifically provided for in the founding legislation.
You can find further guidance on this in the Government Financial Reporting Manual (“FreM”), and section 3.1 of the Treasury’s Executive Non-Departmental Public Bodies Annual Reports and Accounts Guidance.
Presently the FreM does not cover the accounts direction in much depth, however this is expected to change at some stage, until then you can use the Executive Non-Departmental Public Bodies Annual Reports for further guidance.
- Executive NDPBs that are incorporated as companies should comply with the Companies Act. Their accounts should comply with the accounting and disclosure requirements of the Act and the accounting standards issued or adopted by the Accounting Standards Board.
- Executive NDPBs that have charitable status should comply with regulations issued under charities legislation and, where applicable, the statement of recommended practice (SORP) Accounting by Charities, issued by the Charity Commission. If they are both registered companies and charities, they should comply with both the Companies Act and the Charities SORP.
Executive NDPBs that are incorporated as companies or have charitable status – or both – should also follow the principles in the FreM and provide the additional disclosures required by the manual (for example, notional costs and disclosure on salary and pension entitlements), where these go beyond the Companies Act or the SORP.
For further information on this, see sections 1.2.7. and 1.2.8. of the FreM.
If you require additional information on planning and management issues, and do not have access to the Defra intranet, please contact the Delivery Relationship Team.
- Executive Non-Departmental Public Bodies Annual Reports and Accounts Guidance (PDF)
- Government Financial Reporting Manual (“FreM”)
- Chapter h, section 5 of the Cabinet Office guidance - Non-Departmental Public Bodies: A Guide for Departments
Page last modified: 8 May 2006
Page published: 8 May 2006