§ Mr. Alton
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his policy on the use of his powers of direction, under section 22 of the Local Government Act 1982, to direct auditors to conduct extraordinary audits.
§ Mr. Waldegrave
Under the provisions of section 22 of the Local Government Finance Act 1982, the power to direct an auditor to hold an extraordinary audit is reserved exclusively to the Audit Commission. My right hon. Friend has a reserve and discretionary power to require the commission to direct such an audit if he considers it to be desirable in the public interest; any case would nedd to be considered individually on its merits.