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Govt commits to MAS review by 2015

Sajid Javid 480

The Government has pledged to carry out a thorough review of whether the Money Advice Service is delivering on its objectives by the end of this Parliament and to bring the service under the scope of the National Audit Office.

Speaking at a Treasury sub-committee MAS inquiry last week, economic secretary to the Treasury Sajid Javid told MPs he believes the FSA does have the powers to sufficiently challenge MAS.

But he said: “The issue of a review is important because it is an organisation that has only been around for a couple of years, it is entering a new space, and any new organisation will have teething problems and issues. It is important for the Government to make sure it [the MAS] is meeting its objectives. I intend to have a thorough review of MAS before the end of this Parliament, which would make sure it is meeting its objectives as set out by Government and by Parliament.”

Sub-committee chairman and Labour MP George Mudie said he would be unhappy if another three years went by without proper scrutiny of MAS, given “this is a new organisation that has arbitrarily changed its total way of operation within a year.”

Javid said the MAS would be scrutinised through a value for money analysis and plans to bring the MAS under the scope of the National Audit Office.

He added the Government would also consider whether MAS should be subject to the Freedom of Information Act as part of a wider review.

Essential IFA managing director Peter Herd says: “It is good to see the NAO auditing the books of not just MAS but the FSA to see exactly how our money is being spent.”

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