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Local Government: Standards

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 3 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the cost of comprehensive performance assessments to (a) local authorities and (b) the Audit Commission in the latest period for which figures are available. (260130)

The reply I gave to the hon. Member on 23 February 2009, Official Report, column 104W, explained that the cost to local authorities of Audit Commission fees for comprehensive performance assessment (CPA) is offset by revenue support grant and that the cost of the Audit Commission’s work on CPA is covered by a mixture of those fees and direct grant from my Department.

The letter from the chief executive of the Audit Commission supplied as part of that answer set out two schedules providing details of the Commission’s funding, covering its work on CPA for local authorities and for fire and rescue authorities, on an annual basis. Those schedules therefore provide information about the inspection fees paid by local authorities, and the Audit Commission’s funding to cover the costs of carrying out CPA, up to 31 March 2008.

The Department’s grant funding to the Audit Commission for 2008-09 includes an estimated £15.7 million to complete the final CPA inspection programme for local authorities. In addition, the inspection fees paid to the Commission by local authorities are estimated to be £8.3 million for the year ending 31 March 2009.

The Department also makes grant funding to the Audit Commission for the CPA inspection programme for fire and rescue authorities. For 2008-09 this is estimated to be £1.8 million.