Mr. Robert Ainsworth
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) when he first became aware of the malpractice which led to the surcharging of councillors in(a) Liverpool and (b) Lambeth; and how this was brought to his attention;
(2) when he ordered an extraordinary audit into the affairs of (a) Lambeth and (b) Liverpool councils.
§ Mr. Robert B. Jones
The failure of the members of both Liverpool and Lambeth councils to set a legal rate before midnight on 31 March 1985 and the district auditor's investigations which led to surcharging in each case were widely reported in the press.
The Secretary of State did not order an extraordinary audit of either authority. The Audit Commission exercised its own power under section 22(1) of the Local Government Finance Act 1982 to direct an extraordinary audit.