Health and Social Care (Community Health and Standards) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 1:15 pm on 6th November 2003.

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Photo of Baroness Noakes Baroness Noakes Conservative 1:15 pm, 6th November 2003

My Lords, the noble Lord, Lord Lipsey, tempts me to say how much I support what he has just said. I wish to speak briefly to the amendments in this group. In general we are either indifferent to them or we are pleased that the Government have listened to the points that we made in Committee. I wish to raise just one point. Amendment No. 76 adds an officer of the Audit Commission to those auditors who can be appointed. We have no problem with that. However, I remain concerned that the remaining elements of paragraph 22 of Schedule 1 allow persons to be appointed as auditors even if they are not qualified to carry out audits under the Companies Act, which is the only properly approved set of processes available to test the competence of those who hold themselves up as auditors. I believe that is unfortunate. I hope that if the schedule ever sees the light of day again, the Minister will reconsider that matter.