asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether, further to his reply of 11 March, Official Report, c. 474–5, to the hon. Member for Ludlow (Mr. Cockeram), he will now consider extending the experimental use of firms of accountants in the external audit of health authorities.
The six firms of accountants referred to in reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Ludlow (Mr. Cockeram) on 11 March 1982—[Vol. 19, c. 474–75]—have now been appointed and begun work. I have decided to extend the scope of the experiment to bring in a further six district health authorities from 1 April 1983. Advertisements will shortly appear in the professional press. It is our hope that in this way the experiment can be given a broad and varied enough base to enable a full judgment to be made on the value of the use of independent auditors.
The district health authorities are as follows:
- East Yorkshire
- West Norfolk and Wisbech
- City and Hackney