Housing Action Trusts: Finance etc.

Clause 50 – in the House of Commons at 1:45 pm on 14th June 1988.

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Photo of Mr William Waldegrave Mr William Waldegrave , Bristol West 1:45 pm, 14th June 1988

I beg to move amendment No. 331, in page 93, line 5, at end insert— '(5) Section 6 of the National Audit Act 1983 (which enables the Comptroller and Auditor General to conduct examinations into the economy, efficiency and effectiveness with which certain departments, authorities and bodies have used their resources) shall apply to a trust.'. Again, this amendment was requested by the Committee, which quite properly said that the National Audit Office should have access to HATs to carry out value-for-money audits.

Photo of Mr Allan Roberts Mr Allan Roberts , Bootle

We welcome the Government's concession and are pleased that the National Audit Office will report on the HATs. It is a valuable organisation—it has, for example, just published a report on the Liverpool Docklands corporation. That excellent report highlights many of the shortcomings in the corporation and the way in which it has been administered. If a local authority had been so criticised by the NAO, there would have been a scandal. At least the report was published and it can be debated.

Although we welcome the concession, we want to know whether the NAO reports will be published and whether they can be debated in the House. It is no good producing reports unless they are published. If the NAO is to publish its reports, we wholeheartedly welcome the Government's proposals.

Photo of Mr William Waldegrave Mr William Waldegrave , Bristol West

I think that I am right in saying that the NAO reports are always published, and certainly they should be in this case.

Amendment agreed to.

Photo of Mr William Waldegrave Mr William Waldegrave , Bristol West

I beg to move amendment No. 332, in page 93, line 28, at end insert — '( ) Without prejudice to the generality of sub-paragraph (1) above, a report shall give particulars of the name and address of every person who, in the financial year to which the report relates, has received financial assistance from the trust under section 66(1) of this Act, together with particulars of the form of the assistance, the amount involved and the purpose for which the assistance was given.'. The amendment meets the point raised in Committee by the hon. Member for Leeds, West (Mr. Battle). He did stalwart service during the middle of the night, and it is understandable that he is not in his place now, and we certainly do not hold that against him.

The hon. Gentleman said in Committee that it would be fair for details of financial assistance by HATs to other bodies to be published in the annual reports so that we would know what sort of bodies they were supporting. We agreed to that and the amendment meets his request.

Amendment agreed to.