§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many outside accountancy firms are employed by his Department; whether such employment is50W subject to any guidelines; and whether he takes steps before employing an accountancy firm to discover whether that firm has been censured by Department of Trade and Industry inspectors in their inquiries under the Companies Act.
§ Mr. Rifkind
In 1989, my Department has employed five firms for the provision of accountancy-related services. In commissioning such work, steps are taken in accordance with departmental guidelines and account is taken of the best evidence available about the competence of firms, both at the time of invitation to tender and of appointment.