Графични страници
PDF файл

place, the account of the year
1758, (which was not delivered to
the auditor until 1768) and conti-
nue to be omitted in every succeed-
ing account, until the last of that
paymaster-general, the account of
the year 1765, and not even there
inserted until the year 1782 °
twenty-four years after they were
entered as charges upon that pay-
master-general in the books of the
office.
The account is sent to the audi-
tor, with blanks for sums in the
body of it: after he has examined
it as far he is able, it is taken back
again to the pay-office, the blanks
filled up, and corrections and ad-
ditions made to it at their pleasure,
without the knowledge of the au-
ditor; and this, frequently, in the
progress of the examination. This
pračtice is inconvenient and dan-
gerous: it increases the trouble of
the officer; it confounds the articles
he has examined with those he has
not; alterations may be made in
the former to the prejudice of the
public, and pass unobserved by the
auditor. We are of opinion that
the account, when once delivered
to the auditor, ought to remain in
his office until it is completed, and
all additions and corrections after
the delivery, be made at his office,
and with his privity.
There are some articles in the
voluntary charge, of whose accu-
racy the auditor cannot judge for
want of sufficient materials: these
are profit on exchange and remit-
tances, some of the payments to
the deputies, and some of the
stoppages. The vouchers produced
to the auditor for these charges, are
accounts made up and signed by
the accountant of the pay-office. A
voluntary charge is an admisfion of
the receipt of a sum on account, as
far as it goes; but it may be erro-

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

amination superfluous, and an un-
necessary expence to the public.
Upon this principle we suggested
the exemption of the accounts of
the treasurer of the navy from the
jurisdiction of the auditor. The
same principle leads us to relieve
him from the accounts of the army.
Parts of these accounts, and those
very confiderable, the execution
of the contrasts, and the expendi-
ture of the extraordinaries,—ac-
cording to the present usage, pass
the office of the controller of the
army accounts previous to their
examination by the auditor. As
far as appears to us, the examin-
ations by the controller are suffi-
cient, and consequently those of the
auditor may be dispensed with. If
the office of the controller is so
constituted, that these species of
accounts may safely rest upon his
examination (and the treasury rely
so much upon it, that they direct pay-
ments upon his reports without
waiting for the confirmation of the
auditor) he must be equally quali-
fied to pass the rest of the accounts
of the army: the latter are not
more difficult than the former; nor
does it require greater talents to
examine the one than the other.
Though the business of the con-
troller is at present confined to these
particular branches, yet he seems to
have been originally intended for a
more extensive employment. By
his commission, in the 2d year of
queen Anne, he is created con-
troller of all accounts relating to
the forces; and, by the last instruc
tions for the condućt of the office,
dated the 28th of April 1704, he
is to keep an account of all monies
issued to the paymaster-general of
the forces, and to take care he is
charged therewith.
The time seems to be come when
the state of the business in the of.
fice of the auditor renders it neces-

[ocr errors]

sary to carry into execution the intention of queen Anre in the intiitution of this office, and to extend its duty to all the accounts of the army. The two offices of controller and paymaster-general are so unconnected and independent of each other, that the first may be with safety placed as a check upon the other. One entire species of public expenditure will be the employment of one office; which, though but one species of expenditure, is yet, from the number and variety of its branches, and from the long arrears suffered to be incurred, fully suffieient to engage the continual labour of any one office for a time not easily to be defined. Should the treasury be dissatisfied with the report of the controller upon any particular account or article, or require farther information, it will continue to be, as it is now, in their power to refer it to the auditor for his examination and opinion. For these reasons we are of opinion, that the auditing the accounts of the paymaster-general of the forces should be transferred from the office of the auditors of the inprest to that of the controller of the accounts of the army; that the pay-office of the army should com

[ocr errors]

ter-general of the forces, as have been already delivered into the of. fice of the auditor, and that the auditor should proceed without delay to finish and pass such accounts; and that all army accounts, subsequent to those already delivered into the office of the auditors, and all future accounts of paymasters general of the forces should be sent to the office of the controller of the accounts of the army, and be examined and audited by him, and inrolled in the office of the king's remembrancer in the exchequer.

We required from the auditor of the improst, a list of the fees on passing the account of the year 1767 (the year that had been under our examination) with the rare at which such fees were taken. We required, likewise, from the controller of the accounts of the army, an account of the salaries, fees, and gratuities, received by the officers and clerks in his office. From the state of the fees returned to us by the auditor, it appears that he is paid at the rate of ten shillings a-year for every troop and compamy, and a fee of 15 ol. a year, for the account of the paymaster-general, and of "cl. a year for the account of the treasurer of Chelsea hospital. The deputy had loo guineas, and the clerks 541. 12sThe amount of all the fees, for these two accounts of the year 1767, payable to the auditor, was 7061. 9s. 1 od; and of those payable for passing them through the

exchequer offices, 1 381. 9s. In the office of the controller of the accounts of the army, the two controllers have each a salary of 7491. 9s. 1d. reduced, by the army deductions and the land-tax, to net 5581. 16 s. 6d. a year. They have no other emolument, except such saving as may be made out of their contingent allowance. The secretary and clerks received until very lately, salaries, fees, and gratuities, which in the year 1781 amounted to the net sum of 31931. 9s. 1d. but this mode of payment has been changed to an allowance of one eighth per cent. upon the sum contained in the account, in lieu of fees and gratuities: this is allowed the contractor in his account, and is consequently a charge upon the

public. should the auditing the accounts of the paymaster-general of the forces be transferred to this office,

it will be a saving to the public of isome part, though not the whole of the expence now incurred in the office of the auditor; for so great an increase of the business in the effice of the controller will, probably, require some addition to the establishment in that office. The compensation to the controllers themselves for the execution of this office is a certain fixed falary only. Why the secretary and clerks are not paid in the like manner does not appear. The one eighth per cent. allowed them on the sum contained in the account, does not seem to be grounded on any rule of proportion between the labour and the reward; for this poundage, may, from the magni-tude of the contraćt, amount to a very confiderable sum, without a proportionable increase in the trouble arising from the examination of the account, and therefore, we see no reason why the rule of fubstituting one certain salary, in lieu of all fees, gratuities, and emoluments whatever, adopted in the case of the principals, should not be extended to all the subordinates in this office. Qffice of Accounts, SurreyStreet, 1st of july, 1783. T. ANGUIsh, A. PIGGott, ( Richak D NEAve, ( SAMUEL BEAchcroft, ( GEoRGE Drummon D, (

The Eleventh Report of the Commis: foners appointed to examine, take, and state the Public Accounts of the Kingdom. INour enquiries into the manner of passing the public accounts in the office of the auditors of the imprest, we find, upon the certifisate of accounts depending in that

office, the chief cashier of thes bank of England among the public accountants. In the aëts of parliament for raising the supplies by public loans, the cashiers of the governor and company of the bank of England are appointed the receivers of the contributions to those loans. They are ordered to pay the sums so received into the exchequer, and to account duly for the same in that office : these contributions are received at the bank in the name of the chief cashier. The shares or interests of the contributors, or their assignees, in the capital stocks of annuities created by these ačts, are made transferable at the bank of England ; and the money appropriated to answer the annuities, and other payments therein direéted, is ordered to be issued at the receipt of the exchequer, to the chief cashier, by way of imprest, and upon account; and he is enjoined to pay the annuities, and render his account thereof, according to the due course of the exchequer. Hence the chief cashier has, every year, on the part of the bank, an account to pass of the receipts and payments of the several species of annuities payable at the bank of England; and, for some years last past, he has had also another annual account to pass, of the contributions to the loans to government, received at the bank. We required from the auditors of the imprest the last declared accounts of Abraham Newland, esq. chief cashier of the bank of England, of money received and paid on the several species of bank annuities, and of contributions to annuities and a lottery, with the materials from which those accounts were severally made out.

[ocr errors]

Two accounts were returned to us pursuant to this requisition ; the one an account of the sums received and paid on the annuities payable at the bank of England, for two years, ending the 5th of July 1779; and the other on account of the contributions to the annuities and lottery for the year 1781 : both these accounts were declared upon the 9th of June 1782. From the inspection of the accounts themselves, and of the lits, and other materials, returned with them ; and from the examinations of John Lloyd and John Bray, esqis, late deputy auditors of the imprest; of Charles Harris, esq. one of the present deputy-auditors; Mr. John Walker, and Mr. Bernard Cobbe, two of the clerks in that office ; and Abraham Newland, esq. chief cashier of the bank of England; we are made acquainted with the forms and subject matter of these two kinds of public accounts, and with the manner in which they are examined and auditcd in the office of the auditors of the imprest. In the first of these accounts, that of the sums received and paid on the annuities, the charge consits of the arrea's remaining on the pieceding account, and the sums imprested from the exchequer: the discharge contains the sums paid for dividends on each species of annuiies payable at the bank of England, during the two years of the account ; and to the total sum paid on each species is added the auditor’s fee, for examining, auditing, and ingrossing the account of that annuity : it contains also—the sums paid for principal and interest of annuities poid off — the sums paid for prizes in the lotteries in the time of the account—the sums allowed the bank, for charges of ma

nagement—the fees and charges paid by them to the treasury, and

other offices—and the balance. The materials from whence the articles in this account were collected, are—the imprest certificates— —lists of the dividend warrants in each species of annuities; each of thefe dividend lists contains the number of the warrant, the name of every proprietor, his share in the capital stock, and the proportional half year’s annuity attending it —lists of those warrants, in each species of annuities inserted in the above mentioned lofts, but which remain unpaid at the time to which the account is brought down: these unpaid lists contain only the number of each warrant, and the share of the annuity—a list of those arrears of former dividends, in each species of annuities which have been paid during the period of the account : in this list of arrears are inserted, the number of the dividend, the number of the warrant, and the share of the annuity—a list of the sums paid for principal and interest of such funds as have been paid off—a list of the certificates of prizes in lotteries, paid within the time of the account : each certificate is described in this list by the number and the sum contained in it. These several lists with the dividend warrants and certificates themselves, and with abstracts of the lists, are sent from the bank to the office of the auditor of the imprest every year, as early after the expiration of the year of the account, as they can conveniently be

made up at the bank.

Each year’s account comprehends the payments upon two classes of dividends, the one payable at Ladyday and Michaelmas, the other at Midsummer and Christmas ; and accordingly the accounts of these payments

« ПредишнаНапред »