§ The accounts of the Commissioners shall be made up to the end of the thirty-first day of December in each year, and the Commissioners shall before the thirty-first day of March next following send to the Minister a copy of the said accounts, and if the Commissioners fail so to send the said copy by the last mentioned date they shall be liable on summary conviction to a penalty not exceeding twenty pounds for every week thereafter during which the failure continues.—[Mr. Guinness.]
§ Brought up, and read the First time.
I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."
As originally drafted, there was no date inserted in the Bill, but this new Clause will provide that the accounts shall be presented to the Minister within three months of their being made up, and will provide the usual penalty in case of default.
I do not want to raise any objection to this important Clause, for we are all in favour of accounts 1766 of this kind being sent in on a fixed date under penalty. I am concerned about the audit of the accounts. We have passed a Clause in the Bill dealing with the subject. Is it not possible to secure that the accounts are audited, not merely, as in Clause 30, by "A person appointed by the Minister of Transport to be permanent auditor," but by some person properly qualified to carry out the duties? In nearly all local government legislation, where audits arise, special provision is made as to the class of auditor, so that he shall be a bona fide auditor of good professional standing.
This new Clause is in common form. I will certainly draw the attention of the Minister of Transport to the point that has been raised by the hon. Member.
§ Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.