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Audit Commission Act

Volume 448: debated on Thursday 29 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many reports under (a) section 19 and (b) section 8 of the Audit Commission Act 1998 she has received in each year since the provisions were implemented. (81002)

Section 8 of the Act requires auditors in auditing the accounts to consider whether, in the public interest, they should report on any matter coming to their notice in the course of the audit, in order for it to be considered by the body concerned or brought to the attention of the public. The auditor can issue an immediate report if the public interest requires it, or can issue a report at the conclusion of the audit.

Section 19 of the Audit Commission Act 1998 requires an appointed auditor to refer matters to the Secretary of State if he/she has reason to believe that a national health service organisation has made a decision which involves, or may involve, unlawful expenditure, known as referrals to the Secretary of State. These reports are not published.

The number of reports and referrals made under sections 8 and 19 of the Audit Commission Act 1998 are shown in the table.

Number

Section 8 reports

Section 19 referrals

Qualifications on accounts section 19 referrals1

1998

2

1

0

1999

1

3

0

2000

0

1

0

2001

0

3

0

2002

1

1

0

2003

2

0

0

2004

2

2

53

2005

23

7

93

20062

16

20

n/a

n/a = not available 1 Introduced from April 2000. The section 19 referrals issued to these NHS organisations took the form of regularity reports on the 2004-05 and did not constitute a full report to the Secretary of State. 2 To date.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) pursuant to her answer of 21 June 2006, Official Report, column 1943W, on the Audit Commission Act, how many and which section 19 reports were the result of (a) the organisation breaking its resource allocation limits, (b) the organisation having little prospect of achieving balance within a three or five year period, (c) suspicious payments, (d) fraud and (e) and other reasons; (81231)

(2) pursuant to her answer of 21 June 2006, Official Report, column 1943W, on the Audit Commission Act, what the dates are of each report.

Section 19 of the Audit Commission Act 1998 requires an appointed auditor to refer matters to the Secretary of State if he/she has reason to believe that a national health service organisation has made a decision which involves, or may involve, unlawful expenditure, known as referrals to the Secretary of State. These reports are not published.

Auditors made the following referrals, on the dates shown, under section 19 for:

The organisation breaking its resource allocation limits

Bedfordshire Heartlands Primary Care Trust (PCT)1

Bexley Care Trust PCT1

Billericay, Brentwood and Wickford PCT1

Blackwater Valley and Hart PCT1

Broadland PCT1

Burntwood, Lichfield and Tamworth PCT1

Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire PCTs (December 2005)

Cambridge City PCT1

Cannock Chase PCT1

Canterbury and Coastal PCT1

Central Cornwall PCT1

Central Suffolk PCT (February 2006)

Central Suffolk PCT1

Charnwood and North West Leicestershire PCT1

Chelmsford PCT1

Cherwell Vale PCT1

Cheshire West PCT (February 2006)

Cheshire West PCT1

Chiltern and South Bucks PCT1

Colchester PCT1

Cotswold and Vale PCT1

Dacorum PCT (April 2006)

Dacorum PCT1

Dartford, Gravesham and Swanley PCT1

E Elmbridge and Mid Surrey PCT1

East Hampshire PCT1

East Lincolnshire PCT1

Eastbourne Downs PCT1

Eastleigh and Test Valley PCT1

Fareham and Gosport PCT1

Guildford and Waverley PCT1

Harrow PCT1

Havering PCT1

Hertsmere PCT (April 2006)

Hertsmere PCT1

Hillingdon PCT1

Hounslow PCT1

Huntingdonshire PCT1

Ipswich PCT1

Isle of Wight PCT1

Kennet and North Wiltshire PCT1

Kensington and Chelsea PCT1

Kingston PCT1

Leicester City West PCT1

Luton PCT1

Maidstone Weald PCT1

Maldon and South Chelmsford PCT1

Medway PCT1

Mid Hampshire PCT1

Milton Keynes PCT1

North East Oxfordshire PCT1

North Hertfordshire and Stevenage PCT1

New Forest PCT1

Newbury and Community PCT1

Newcastle under Lyme PCT1

North and East Cornwall PCT1

North Birmingham PCT1

North Devon PCT1

North Hampshire PCT1

North Norfolk PCT1

North Somerset PCT1

North Stoke PCT1

Norwich PCT1

Oldbury and Smethwick PCT1

South and East Dorset PCT1

South Cambridgeshire PCT1

South West Oxfordshire PCT1

South Western Staffordshire PCT1

Selby and York PCT1

South East Hertfordshire PCT1

South Leicestershire PCT1

South Stoke PCT1

South Wiltshire PCT1

Southampton City PCT1

Southern Norfolk PCT1

St. Albans and Harpenden PCT (April 2006)

St. Albans and Harpenden PCT1

Staffordshire Moorlands PCT1

Suffolk Coastal PCT (February 2006)

Suffolk Coastal PCT1

Suffolk West PCT (February 2006)

Suffolk West PCT1

Sussex Downs and Weald PCT1

Swale PCT1

Thurrock PCT1

Vale of Aylesbury PCT1

Waltham Forest PCT1

Wandsworth PCT1

Watford and Three Rivers PCT (April 2006)

Watford and Three Rivers PCT1

Waveney PCT1

Welwyn Hatfield PCT1

West Gloucestershire PCT1

West Midlands South Strategic Health Authority (SHA)1

West Norfolk PCT1

West of Cornwall PCT1

West Wiltshire PCT1

Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead PCT1

Witham, Braintree and Halstead PCT1

Wycombe PCT1

Wyre Forest PCT1

Yorkshire Wolds and Coast PCT1

1 The section 19 referrals issued to these NHS organisations took the form of regularity reports on the 2004-05 accounts and did not constitute a full report to the Secretary of State. These referrals do not have a specific date associated with them.

The organisation having little prospect of achieving balance within a three or five year period

Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals NHS Trust (July 2005)

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (April 2006)

Good Hope Hospital NHS Trust (June 2006)

North Bristol NHS Trust (April 2006)

Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust (April 2006)

Royal West Sussex NHS Trust (June 2005)

Royal West Sussex NHS Trust (April 2006)

Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust (September 2005)

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (June 2006)

United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust (April 2006)

West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust (April 2006)

Weston Area Health NHS Trust (April 2006)

Worcester Acute Hospitals NHS Trust (April 2006)

Other reasons including fraud and suspicious payments

Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire SHA—employment issues (February 2006)

Avon Ambulance Service NHS Trust—employment issues (June 2006)