HC Deb 29 February 2000 vol 345 c251W
Mr. Baker

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, pursuant to his oral answer of 21 February 2000,Official Report, column 1246, on what basis he concluded that the NAO (a) does not have expertise in fair trading issues and (b) is not able to undertake a politically independent scrutiny role. [112051]

Janet Anderson

[holding answer 28 February 2000]: My right hon. Friend fully accepts the need for external scrutiny of the BBC's fair trading commitment. He considers, however, that other organisations would be better placed than the NAO, whose core work is financial audit and value for money exercises, to form a view on the adequacy of the BBC's fair trading policies. Taking account of this, and while in no way questioning the NAO's ability to undertake a politically independent scrutiny role, he believes the most effective way to meet the concerns raised in the Davies report is for him to appoint independent auditors and for their reports to him to be made available to the House and to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.

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