HL Deb 10 June 2002 vol 636 c4WA
Baroness Anelay of St Johns

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord McIntosh of Haringey on Privy Council silver on 16 May (WA 64), whether they are satisfied that the National Audit Office can give an "appropriate independent verification of this classification decision" when the question is one of heritage significance only; whether the National Audit Office sought expert independent advice before verifying this classification decision; and, if so, whose advice did it take. [HL4532]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey

Designating an item as a "heritage asset" determines only the way in which it is treated in a department's accounts. Responsibility for interpreting it therefore lies with the department. The National Audit Office has been tasked by Parliament with reviewing all government departments' accounts. It is for the auditor to judge whether it needs external advice on any particular issue: that is not a matter for the body being audited, or hence for me as a Minister. However I have passed the noble Baroness's question to the NAO, which intends to reply.