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Indy Lifestyle Online
IT LOOKS as if the Auditing Practices Board has issued a discreet warning to Her Majesty's Government. Last week the Board sent out a list of official pointers to auditors giving warning signs that a company is, well, rather fishy. All too many of the items seem to apply to HMG.

Like, for instance, "understaffing in the accounts department" - as witness the constant complaints of understaffing by and in the Inland Revenue. Like "high turnover of important staff" - particularly appropriate when the Cabinet increasingly resembles a group of apprentice merchant bankers. Like "excessive payments for services - for example to consultants or lawyers" (the bill for "professional services" required to privatise British Rail is now more than the £700m required to modernise the line fromLondon to Glasgow. Finally "incomplete files or altered accounts . . . evasive replies to auditor questions". Do I make my point?