The government's chief spending watchdog, Sir John Bourn, yesterday announced he would retire, two weeks after coming under fire for running up hundreds of thousands of pounds in expenses.
Ministers expect to tighten up the rules for his successor as comptroller and auditor general when an inquiry into the governance of the National Audit Office reports. The NAO said his decision was unconnected to the expenses row.
Sir John is the chief investigator into Whitehall waste and extravagance. But his travel and entertainment records - published in the Guardian earlier this month - revealed he spent £365,000 on foreign visits in three years, in some cases flying first class with his wife. Over the same period he ran up a meal account approaching £27,000 including lunches and dinners at the Ritz, Savoy and Dorchester.