asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many local authorities have not yet published their accounts for 1976–77, 1977–78 and 1978–79; and, in respect of 1976–77 and 1977–78, if he will list those authorities.
As at 31 December 1979 all local authorities had completed their accounts for 1676–77 and 1977–78, but 22 had failed to complete their accounts for 1978–79. Information is not available on the number of authorities which have not yet published abstracts of accounts as audited.Current legislation requires that local authorities' accounts should be made up and balanced as soon as possible after the end of the financial year; and that they prepare an abstract of their accounts as soon as possible after they have been audited. The availability of abstracts generally follows promptly on the completion of the audit. The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and the Advisory Committee on Local Government Audit are currently considering whether a dead-line should be fixed by which authorities' accounts should be made up and balanced.