§ Mr. Bacon
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on(a) the circumstances in which an accounting officer should seek a direction from a Minister before authorising expenditure, (b) the number of occasions since 1 May 1997 that such directions have been sought by accounting officers and (c) the Department and sum involved and the purpose of the expenditure for which a direction was sought in each case. 
§ Mr. Boateng
[pursuant to the reply, 8 May 2002, c. 253W]: It has come to the Treasury's attention that the schedule of ministerial directions was incomplete and should have included a direction issued in 2001 in the Department of Trade and Industry concerning regional selective assistance. I apologise for this omission.