HL Deb 25 June 1997 vol 580 cc175-6WA
Lord Bowness

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether, in regard to their proposals to replace compulsory competitive tendering with a new duty on local authorities to ensure best value for money, they have considered what powers the Secretary of State shall have to enforce his chosen form of intervention in appropriate cases, and whether that intervention is to be on the advice of individual auditors or the Audit Commission.

Baroness Hayman

On 2 June, we sent the Local Government Association and the Audit Commission a draft set of 12 principles which would underpin further development work on the best value framework. A copy of the relevant letter has been placed in the Library. These principles included four points covering the roles of auditors and the Audit Commission, and the nature and form of intervention.

At this stage, we have an open mind about the precise form of intervention powers and the roles of the Audit Commission and individual auditors within the relevant procedures. In advance of legislation on best value we will be consulting all interested parties. I expect a number of these parties will have views on intervention powers and the procedures which should be adopted. We will consider these views before bringing forward legislation.