HC Deb 06 February 1987 vol 109 cc879-80W
Mrs. Clwyd

asked the Secretary of State for Defence (1) if there is any category of project which Her Majesty' Government regard as so sensitive in terms of national security that it declines to divulge information about it t the Chairman of the Committee of Public Accounts eve if it otherwise qualifies in terms of the expenditure limit set out in the agreement with the Committee; and if he will make a statement;

(2) pursuant to the answer of 2 February, if he will give the date of the most recent occasion on which hi Department notified the Chairman of the Public Account Committee about expenditure in excess of £10 million u to the end of project definition on any project which could not be notified to the full Committee on grounds o national security.

Mr. Younger

The memorandum appended to th Ninth Report of the PAC (session 1981–82) drew attention to circumstances that might arise where in the national interest information should not be reported to Parliament or even disclosed to the PAC. The arrangements which apply in these circumstances were set out in my hon. Friend's reply on 2 February. My understanding is that where, in the interests of national security, large project are excluded from the annual confidential defence project statement, the Comptroller and Auditor General would expect to consult the Chairman of the PAC in an circumstances which would normally justify his reporting to Parliament.