Equality quango rapped over £2 million misspend

The beleaguered Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has been rapped for misspending more than £2 million of public money last year.

The National Audit Office (NAO) has now refused to sign off the Commission’s accounts for three years in a row.

A critical NAO report into the Commission’s finances found that it had spent more than £500,000 on unauthorised staff payments.

Writing off

It also revealed that the troubled quango had spent more than £1 million on contracts that were given the go-ahead without governmental approval.

The Commission also came under fire for writing off, without seeking approval, the £874,000 spent on a temporary website that did not work.

Theresa May, the home secretary, said: “It is unacceptable that the EHRC has not managed to produce an unqualified set of accounts since its inception.


“These accounts represent spend for 2009-10, under the previous government. We have been clear with the EHRC from the start that any problems with their accounts under this government are likely to result in financial consequences.”

However, a spokesman for the Commission said: “As the NAO recognises, many of the problems leading to qualification are historic, and have their origins in the rushed start-up of the Commission.

“The management team has put in place measures to address these issues – which the NAO also recognises. We are confident that these measures have resulted in much tighter financial and corporate management.

“The Commission is committed to delivering value for public money and we will continue to make savings.”


The Commission has recently been caught up in a number of anti-Christian headlines.

Earlier this week Trevor Philips, the Commission’s chairman, claimed that Christians were more militant than Muslims.

Earlier this year the Commission funded the case of a same-sex couple who sued the Christian owners of a B&B over their double bed policy.

Related Resources