§ Mr. Kilfedder
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what is the method by which the Arts Council of Northern Ireland is financed; what public control is exercised over (a) its budget and (b) its expenditure; what is the name of the banking organisation with which it conducts its business; when this firm was chosen by the council or its predecessor; what was the bank charge in each of the last three financial years; and what is 93W the present position with regard to the auditing of the accounts of the council.
§ Mr. Carter
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland is financed almost entirely by grant in aid from the Department of Education, Northern Ireland. The council's budget is determined by the Department in the light of estimates of expenditure submitted by the council and the financial resources available to the Department. The council's bankers, the Northern Bank Limited, were appointed in 1947. Bank charges in each of the three financial years up to 1975–76 were: 1973–74, £135; 1974–75, £45; 1975–76, £62.
Since the council is a company incorporated under the Companies Act (NI) 1932 its accounts are audited by professional auditors appointed by the council. The Comptroller and Auditor General receives copies of the audited accounts and has access to the books and records of the council.