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Spending watchdog slams Bank of England over costs


Report: Amyas Morse

Report: Amyas Morse

Report: Amyas Morse

The Bank of England made £10m of purchases without following proper procedures and has 800 desks sitting empty at its Threadneedle Street offices, an inquiry into its costs has revealed.

A National Audit Office (NAO) probe unearthed 200 purchases above £25,000 that were made without staff consulting the Bank's central procurement team in the year to December 2017.

The spending watchdog said savings of up to £200,000 could have been made on £2m of these purchases.

The NAO report also found that 800 desks are allocated but sitting empty at the Bank's headquarters on any given day, while it has more than 700 job titles, which it said is creating unnecessary complexity.

The report comes less than a week after the Bank announced changes to its expenses policy after MPs slammed "staggering" costs run up by officials, including more than £11,000 spent on one flight.

The NAO said the Bank would need to "transform" the way it operates the central services function to continue meeting its self-imposed target to cap annual costs at £476m.

Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, said: "The Bank of England has rightly recognised that its central services need reform and has started to take action.

"However, the Bank should not underestimate the scale of change required.

"Improvements will only be possible if staff across the Bank are encouraged to embrace a more cost-conscious culture."

The NAO said the purchases made without consulting the central procurement team largely related to IT costs.

Belfast Telegraph