HC Deb 03 May 1994 vol 242 c483W
Mr. Gordon Prentice

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland in respect of which non-elected bodies whose membership in whole or in part is appointed by him in each case(a) meetings are open to the public, (b) there is scrutiny of financial procedures by independently appointed audit and (c) there are rules governing the declaration of interests.

Mr. Lang

Non-departmental public bodies are not required to hold meetings in public and do not normally do so. The Comptroller and Auditor General either audits the accounts of, or has inspection rights to, all executive non-departmental public bodies for which I am responsible and which receive Government funding. Where he is not the auditor, the accounts of the body are audited in accordance with the statutory requirements of its constitution. I take into account the question of the interests of possible chairmen and members of the boards of executive NDPBs when I am considering appointments to a body. Arrangements for the declaration of interest of members on specific items under consideration by the body are normal practice; detailed arrangements vary depending on the body.

The meetings of Scottish health boards and NHS trusts are open to the public. The Health Education Board for Scotland and the National Board for Nursing, Midwifery and Health Visiting for Scotland also hold public meetings. They are subject to audit by either the Scottish Office audit unit or external auditors appointed by the Secretary of State for Scotland. The Comptroller and Auditor General has a statutory requirement to examine, certify and report on summarised accounts of these bodies and can examine the accounts of individual bodies and any records relating to them. NHS authorities and trusts have rules governing the declaration of interests.

Cost (£)
Establishment 1989–90 1990–91 1991–92 1992–93 1993–94 Total
Cornton Vale 1,818 1,818
Dumfries 2,295 5,762 8,057
Glenochil 25,550 25,550
Longriggend 3,180 3,180
Low Moss 6,008 6,008
Perth 36,074 36,074
Shotts 10,510 44,825 32,302 4,865 183,045 275,547
Total 12,805 56,595 71,556 4,865 210,413 356,234

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