To ask the President of the Local Government Board what are the duties generally of a clerk to a board of guardians; what is his position, powers, and duties so far as the guardians themselves and other officers of the union are concerned; whether by statute, Local Government Board's Orders, or otherwise there is any responsibility cast upon a clerk to supervise or control the affairs of any department the head of which is a directly accounting officer to the guardians and to the district auditor; the date when the Local Government Board's Orders relating to the duties, etc., of officials of boards of guardians now in force were framed; whether the same have been found satisfactory and sufficient; and, if not, when it is proposed to remodel them so as to meet present day requirements.
It is the duty of a clerk to a board of guardians to attend and keep minutes of their meetings, to conduct their correspondence, to prepare estimates of their expenditure, and also any contracts and agreements to be entered into with them. He has to conduct all applications on behalf of the guardians before justices, and, if he is a solicitor, to perform their ordinary legal business. It is his duty to keep the accounts of the guardians, and to examine certain accounts of other officers. He is to communicate to the several officers all orders and directions of the Local Government Board or of the guardians, and, so far as may be, to give the instructions requisite for their execution and to report to the guardians any neglect or failure therein which may come to his knowledge. He must prepare reports and returns, and observe the lawful orders and directions of the guardians applicable to his office, and it is incumbent on him to assist the guardians generally in the administration of the relief of the poor and otherwise in carrying the Poor Law Acts into execution. The chief orders on the subject are the General Consolidated Order of 1847, the Amending Order of 1866, and the Order for Accounts of 1867. These Orders have, speaking generally, been found satisfactory and sufficient. If I find that they need alteration I shall be prepared to amend them.