Procedure on Excess Votes

34.21Requests for excess amounts are not brought before the House of Commons until the following steps have been taken. When the exact amount of the excess expenditure or other use of resources has been ascertained on completion of the audit of the Departmental Accounts (see para 34.5 ), the Comptroller and Auditor General makes a report to the House. The findings come before the Committee of Public Accounts, which, after an examination of the explanation provided by the relevant department, submits its own report to the House, if possible in February or early March of the financial year following that in which the excess occurred, setting out the reasons and stating the objections (if any) to the excess being approved.1 The Treasury, as soon as possible after the report from the Committee of Public Accounts has been agreed, presents a Statement of Excesses, which takes the form of a combined request for amounts of resources and cash to make good the aggregates of excess expenditure or other excess use of resources on the various Estimates affected. The individual net excess amounts are authorised and appropriated in the Supply and Appropriation (Anticipations and Adjustments) Bill (see para 34.37 ).2

Footnotes

  1. 1. Although the Committee of Public Accounts frequently draws general conclusions from particular Excess Votes, there is no case of its objecting to an Excess Vote being authorised.
  2. 2. On occasions, in order to offer an opportunity for further discussion, Excess Votes have not been taken until a late date in the session, CJ (1902) 402; Parl Deb (1902) 104, c 296; CJ (1903) 378; see also ibid (1943–44) 152; ibid (1945–46) 311; ibid (1974) 293.