Panning for NRA over financial mismanagement

Charges of gross incompetence were levelled at the top management of the National Rivers Authority (NRA) during an inquiry by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee into the massive overrun of expenditure on its new headquarters. The inquiry has also shed new light on the resignation last year of the NRA's Chief Executive, Dr John Bowman, and helps to explain why the Government cut the NRA's grant-in-aid last autumn.

The Committee's inquiry was held in January, but it was only with the publication of the minutes of the hearing at the end of March that the story behind the NRA's headquarters emerged into the open. This is told in an attached report on the affair by the National Audit Office (NAO).

The scandal centres on how the NRA handled the contract for fitting out its new headquarters building in Bristol. The original budget estimate for this was &

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