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Birmingham (Audit)

Volume 31: debated on Wednesday 10 November 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will refer to the Audit Commission the employment of Price Waterhouse by the city of Birmingham council to undertake a review of the social services department at a fee of £85,000 having regard to the fact that Price Waterhouse are the auditors of the city of Birmingham council and tenders were not invited from anyone else.

We intend to establish the commission shortly to take over responsibility for local government audit from 1 April 1983. I intend to draw the attention of the commission to the need to ensure, first, that conflicts of interest are avoided when making audit appointments and, secondly, that the proposed code of practice includes provision to cover the situation where a firm appointed to audit a particular authority contemplates undertaking other work for the same authority.