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Health Authorities (Expenditure)

Volume 124: debated on Thursday 17 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales at what frequency during the course of a financial year health authorities in Wales are required to submit their current account expenditure figures to his Department; whether they are also required to compare such actual year to-date expenditure with a calendarised year to-date budget; and whether his Department monitors the performance against budget of these authorities, in global terms or by departmental performance.

The Department's role in monitoring is related to the totality of the resources available to each authority. Control and monitoring of individual budgets within the notified allocations is the management responsibility of health authorities.The Department monitors the financial performance of health authorities through a financial information system designed to provide and update information about cash expenditure in relation to allocated resources. At the start of each financial year, each authority provides the Department with a cumulative monthly profile of its anticipated demands for cash within the totality of its notified cash limit allocations. This is revised on a regular basis to take account of any change to the authority's spending plans, or any adjustment to its notified cash limit. Cumulative cash expenditure returns, submitted on a monthly basis, are then compared with this profile so that any overspend can be identified and early action taken, in consultation with the authority concerned, to recover the situation.

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will publish the likely budget overspending in the current financial year of each of the nine health authorities in Wales, respectively, on the basis of the la test information available to him; and if he will identify any additional loan finance which he is making available to each of these authorities to enable them to remain solvent during the current financial year.

Revenue resources cash overspending/ (underspending)


£ million

East Dyfed0·49
Mid Glamorgan1·66
South Glamorgan(0·19)
West Glamorgan0·29

1 Based on the monthly returns to the 31 October of actual cash spending against profiles of expected cash spending provided by health authorities.

Health authorities have a duty to contain their expenditure within notified cash limits and I do not therefore expect any authority to overspend in cash terms at the end of the year. In recognition of their financial problems, I have made loans of £1 million available to Gwent and Gwynedd health authorities in the current financial year.