§ Mr. Wainwright
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what accounting developments are being made in his Department to give line managers better information about the cost and condition of the capital assets they are managing.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
[pursuant to his reply, 18 March, c. 381]: The budgetary control system under development in our Department provides line managers with regular information about expenditure on capital assets and on their associated running costs. We have just completed our own feasibility study on the introduction of an assets register for computers, and are awaiting the results of a study by the Management and Personnel Office into assets registers for other types of capital assets.
The present procedures for managing capital in the National Health Service, and the part played by the 457W accounting system, have recently been reviewed by a working group of the Association of Health Service Treasurers on which our Department and the Treasury are also represented. I understand that the association expects to send us the working party's report shortly, and we shall then be considering its proposals.