§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many outside accountancy firms are employed by his Department; whether such employment is subject to any guidelines; and whether he takes steps before employing an accountancy firm to discover whether that firm has been censured by the Department of Trade and Industry in their inquiries under the Companies Acts.58W
§ Mr. Peter Walker
At the present time six accountancy firms are employed either solely or jointly by my Department. Firms are invited to tender for the provision of advisory services on the basis of their suitability to provide the relevant advice. In making appointments, consultations and enquiries are undertaken as necessary and where appropriate in the light of advice given by Treasury on consultancy appointments. The figures do not include accountancy firms that I have appointed to act as auditors to non-departmental public bodies sponsored by my Department.