§ Mr. Wigley
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment by what method the Government monitor the expenditure of local authorities in relation to their budgeted forecast; which Departments have responsibility for such monitoring; at what frequency during the financial year it occurs; and in what way the conclusions are published.
§ Mr. John Silkin
The Government's information about total local authority current expenditure in 1976–77 is or will be obtained from: (1) the joint DOE/CIPFA return on spending intentions made originally in April 1976 and now to be revised by 16th July; (2) estimates of outturn expenditure to be made in the same return in April 1977; (3) final figures of outturn which will be returned in August 1977. Responsibility for interpreting these figures rests collectively with the Departments which are responsible for local authority services. There are also returns to Departments about expenditure on individual services. For capital expenditure authorities make quarterly650W returns to the Department of the Environment which are monitored by this and the other responsible Departments against the Government's published plans for local authority capital expenditure.