HC Deb 04 July 1995 vol 263 c194W
Mr. Wigley

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales in what circumstances district councils found allocating money received by them from his Department towards housing renovation grants without following the procedure laid down in the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 are liable to repay monies to his Department; on what extent local councillors are surchargeable for dereliction of duty in those circumstances; and who is responsible for instigating surcharges. [31275]

Mr. Gwilym Jones

The question of recovery would depend on the circumstances of each case. Local authorities are required to certify that their in-year and final claims meet the legal requirements and that they will notify the Welsh Office of any irregularity. The Welsh Office can suspend or abate on-account payments where it is notified of suspected fraud or other irregularity and can adjust overpaid contributions under a determination made under section 132 of the Local Government and Housing Act.

Section 19 of the Local Government Finance Act 1982 provides that if it appears to the district auditor that any item of account is contrary to law, he may apply to the courts for a declaration to that effect. If such a declaration is made, the courts have various powers including the surcharge of those responsible for authorising the expenditure.

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