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Auditor's Reports

Volume 21: debated on Monday 5 April 1982

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I beg to move amendment No. 9, in page 9, line 30, leave out 'either' and insert

, subject to subsection (1A) below,'.

With this it will be convenient to take amendments Nos. 10 to 15.

These six amendments are of major importance. The Opposition were totally incapable of suggesting them to the Government. We had to work with extreme care. All of the amendments were designed to clarify the workings of clause 12. However, we had the assistance of the hon. Member for Blaydon (Mr. McWilliam) on one amendment whose purpose is to meet a point he raised in Committee. He stated that, when the auditor made an immediate report to the body being audited, there was nothing to say how quickly he must send a copy to the audit commission.

Amendment No. 14 makes it clear that such reports, which should be immediate, must be sent to the commission forthwith. That is the sort of constructive, important and monumental contribution that the Opposition have made to many aspects of the Bill. I am delighted to think that such amendments give the right hon. Member for Manchester, Ardwick (Mr. Kaufman) the satisfaction of being where he is. I commend the amendments to the House.

In Committee we had to put up with a great deal of clap-trap from the Under-Secretary of State. It is a pity that the Chamber should be burdened with such rubbish. When we proposed amendments similar to amendments Nos. 13 and 14 in Committee, the Minister said that they were not necessary. He was full of derision, but he crept away into a corner and tabled precisely the amendments that he said were not necessary when we debated them in Committee. We shall not shame the Minister in public, so we shall not refer further to the matter. We shall vote for these good amendments.

Amendment agreed to.

Amendments made: No. 10, in page 9, line 31, leave out from 'accounts)' to end of line 32.

No. 11, in page 9, line 32, at end insert—

`(1A) Where an auditor makes a report to the body concerned under section 9(3) above at the conclusion of the audit, the certificate and opinion referred to in subsection (1) above may be included by him in that report.'.

No. 12, in page 9, line 33, leave out 'subsection (1) above or section 9' and insert 'section 9(3)'.

No. 13, in page 9, line 35, after `chairman,', insert

'and (except in the case of an immediate report) shall be so sent not later than fourteen days after the conclusion of the audit'.

No. 14, in page 9, line 39, at end insert

`forthwith, if the report is an immediate report, and otherwise not later than fourteen days after the conclusion of the audit. '.

No. 15, in page 10, line 5, leave out subsection (5).— [Mr. Giles Shaw.]