§ Mr. Cousins
To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what basis, and on what assessment of performance, each of the local social service authorities were identified for special Government scrutiny; and in what form, and over what period, this scrutiny is to take place. 
§ Mr. Hutton
There are 17 local social service authorities which are the subject of special monitoring arrangements by the Department's Social Services Inspectorate (SSI). Of these, five received adverse joint review reports; nine received adverse SSI inspection reports and three received an adverse external inquiry report into their care practices.
These authorities have been on the monitored list from between 2 and a half years and one month. All authorities are required to develop an action plan to resolve the problems which resulted in their being monitored by the SSI.
All 17 authorities will continue to receive special monitoring until further inspections and other assessments of their performance indicate that the requirements for improvements in their action plans have been met and that the changes are sustainable.