§ Sir J. Mellor
asked the Home Secretary whether he is aware of the difficulty caused to the depleted staffs of local authorities by the detailed returns of air-raid precautions expenditure required by his Department notwithstanding that all relevant figures have been examined by the district auditors appointed by the Ministry of Health; and whether he will take steps to eliminate unnecessary detail?
§ Mr. H. Morrison
The services in respect of which grant may be claimed are very numerous and the conditions under which grant may be paid vary according to the1272W nature of the service. The claims have, before final settlement, to be certified by the district auditor and it is essential, if that officer is properly to carry out his examination, that the expenditure on which reimbursement or grant is claimed shall be classified in a uniform manner and that there shall be set out such information as will enable him and the Department to determine whether the conditions attached to the original sanctions have been met. In these circumstances it is inevitable that the forms used should involve a considerable amount of detail, which may cause difficulty where the staff of a local authority has been much depleted. The possibility of simplifying forms of claim for grant under the Air Raid Precautions Act is constantly borne in mind, and it is the practice of the Department to consult representative financial officers of local authorities in this connection.