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03Feb94 UK: MPS ON WARPATH OVER FALL IN STANDARDS - PUBLIC BODIES.

Members of the House of Commons' powerful public accounts committee have attacked the PSA, the National Rivers Authority and three new town development corporations for mismanagement.This came in a damning report last week on falling standards in both central government and government agencies.The PAC, which monitors how public money is spent, said there had been a fall from high standards of public conduct which was unprecedented in the past 140 years. Eleven other public bodies were also criticised.It attacked the PSA, which has since been sold to private owners, for having 'an environment in which impropriety could both flourish and be difficult to detect'.PSA financial systems broke down so badly in 1990/91 that it was unable to recover £65.6 million from customers.The PAC said: 'We were also concerned about the implications for small firms who had accepted work from PSA Services, and who found they did not know when they would receive payment because PSA Services did not know when they themselves would receive payment.'The committee said the National Rivers Authority had wasted £1 million by mismanaging relocation of its headquarters in Bristol.And it criticised Milton Keynes, Telford and Warrington development corporations for favouring businesses set up by their own staff when work was contracted out. CONSTRUCTION NEWS