HC Deb 09 May 1995 vol 259 c362W
Mr. Meacher

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food how many times in the last 10 years, and on which dates, his departmental accounting officer has issued a minute in that role; and what was the issue in each case. [22559]

Mr. Waldegrave

Where a Minister overrules an accounting officer's advice on an issue of propriety or regularity or one of value for money, the accounting officer should request a written instruction from the Minister to take the action in question.

The cases in which such an instruction has been issued between 1979 and February 1994 were set out in my reply to the hon. Member for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney (Mr. Rowlands) on 25 February 1994, Official Report, column 496.

No such minutes have been subsequently issued by the accounting officer,

All such instructions are now reported to the Comptroller and Auditor General who, after making whatever investigations he considers appropriate, will report his findings to the Committee of Public Accounts.