HC Deb 08 February 1881 vol 258 cc341-2

asked the President of the Local Government Board, Whether it is a fact that the Corporation of the City of London, and the London Vestries and District Boards, expend annually between three and four millions sterling, and that no part of the expenditure is audited by independent or skilled auditors; whether he is aware that where elected vestry auditors disallow improper expenditure under the provisions of 18 and 19 Vic. c. 120, s. 145, there is no power to enforce such disallowances; and, whether (until such time as London may have representative municipal government) he is prepared to initiate such measures as may be needful for the auditing of public auditors of such accounts?


Sir, the expenditure in question is correctly stated at about £3,000,000 per annum. The auditors for the Vestries and District Boards are elected under the Metropolis Management Act by the ratepayers from members of their own body, who have signified their willingness to serve and are qualified to become vestrymen; but there is no prescribed professional qualification for the office of auditor under the Act. I am unable to say how the auditors for the Corporation are appointed; but I believe by the Corporation themselves. There does not appear to be any power to enforce disallowances by the Vestry auditors in the accounts of the Vestries and District Boards. At the same time, however desirable it may be that such powers should be conferred, and that duly qualified public auditors should be appointed, I am not prepared to initiate a measure for that purpose in the course of the present Session.