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Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill


Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill
Part 8 — Local services: inspection and audit
Chapter 1 — Constitution of the Audit Commission

107

 

143     

Best value: minor and consequential amendments

(1)   

In section 1 of the Local Government Act 1999 (c. 27) (best value authorities), in

subsection (6) (best value authorities in Wales)—

(a)   

for “best value authority in Wales” substitute “Welsh best value

authority”;

5

(b)   

omit paragraph (c) (police authority).

(2)   

Schedule 8 (minor and consequential amendments) has effect.

Part 8

Local services: inspection and audit

Chapter 1

10

Constitution of the Audit Commission

144     

Membership

In section 1(2) of the Audit Commission Act 1998 (c. 18) (number of members

of Commission)—

(a)   

for “15” substitute “10”, and

15

(b)   

for “20” substitute “15”.

145     

Change of name

(1)   

The body which, immediately before the commencement of this section, was

known as the Audit Commission for Local Authorities and the National Health

Service in England and Wales is to be known as the Audit Commission for

20

Local Authorities and the National Health Service in England.

(2)   

Accordingly, in section 1(1) of the Audit Commission Act 1998 (which

continues the existence of the Audit Commission for Local Authorities and the

National Health Service in England and Wales), omit “and Wales”.

(3)   

Schedule 9 (further amendments consequential on subsection (1)) has effect.

25

(4)   

References in any enactment (other than this section) or in subordinate

legislation to—

(a)   

the Audit Commission for Local Authorities and the National Health

Service in England and Wales, or

(b)   

the Audit Commission for Local Authorities in England and Wales,

30

   

are, unless the contrary intention appears, to be read as references to the Audit

Commission for Local Authorities and the National Health Service in England.

 
 

Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill
Part 8 — Local services: inspection and audit
Chapter 2 — Audit Commission and auditors: functions and procedure

108

 

Chapter 2

Audit Commission and auditors: functions and procedure

Benefits inspections

146     

Powers of the Audit Commission relating to benefits

(1)   

In section 13 of the Local Government Act 1999 (c. 27) (reports by Audit

5

Commission relating to best value authorities), after subsection (4) insert—

“(4A)   

If a report relates to any extent to the administration of housing benefit

or council tax benefit and the Commission thinks fit to do so, it shall as

soon as reasonably practicable send a copy of the report to the Secretary

of State.”

10

(2)   

In section 139D of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 (c. 5) (power of

Secretary of State to give directions following report), in subsection (1), after

paragraph (ba) insert—

“(bb)   

a copy of a report has been sent to a local authority under

subsection (3) of section 13 of the Local Government Act 1999

15

and to the Secretary of State under subsection (4A) of that

section;”.

147     

Benefit Fraud Inspectorate: transfers to the Audit Commission

(1)   

The Secretary of State may make a scheme for the transfer to the Audit

Commission of property, rights and liabilities of—

20

(a)   

the Secretary of State;

(b)   

a person authorised under section 139A of the Social Security

Administration Act 1992 (reports on administration of housing benefit

and council tax benefit).

(2)   

The Secretary of State may only exercise the power under subsection (1) to the

25

extent that he considers it appropriate having regard to the functions of the

Audit Commission relating to the administration of housing benefit and

council tax benefit in England.

(3)   

Before making a scheme under this section, the Secretary of State must consult

the Audit Commission.

30

(4)   

A transfer scheme may make provision for rights and liabilities relating to an

individual’s contract of employment to be transferred, but only if—

(a)   

immediately before the date on which the scheme takes effect, the

individual is employed in the civil service of the State in the part of the

Department for Work and Pensions known as the Benefit Fraud

35

Inspectorate; and

(b)   

the individual and the Audit Commission have consented to the

provision.

(5)   

Schedule 10 (further provision about transfer schemes) has effect.

(6)   

For the purposes of this section and Schedule 10, where an individual is

40

employed in the civil service of the State on terms which do not constitute a

contract of employment—

 
 

Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill
Part 8 — Local services: inspection and audit
Chapter 2 — Audit Commission and auditors: functions and procedure

109

 

(a)   

the individual shall be treated as if he were employed under a contract

of employment; and

(b)   

the terms of his service shall be treated as if they were the terms of the

contract.

(7)   

In this section and in Schedule 10

5

“the Audit Commission” means the Audit Commission for Local

Authorities and the National Health Service in England;

“transfer scheme” means a transfer scheme under subsection (1).

Interaction with other authorities

148     

Interaction of the Audit Commission with other authorities

10

(1)   

The Audit Commission Act 1998 (c. 18) is amended as follows.

(2)   

Omit section 37 (assistance to inspection authorities).

(3)   

In Part 4, before the italic heading preceding section 48 insert—

“Interaction with other authorities

47B     

Interaction with other authorities

15

Schedule 2A (interaction with other authorities) has effect.”

(4)   

After Schedule 2 to that Act, insert the Schedule 2A (interaction with other

authorities) set out at Schedule 11.

149     

Interaction of benefits inspectors with the Audit Commission

After section 139B of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 (c. 5) insert—

20

“139BA  

Interaction with Audit Commission

(1)   

A person authorised under section 139A(1) must from time to time, or

at such times as the Secretary of State may specify by order, prepare—

(a)   

a document setting out what inspections of English authorities

he proposes to carry out (an “inspection programme”);

25

(b)   

a document setting out the way in which he proposes to carry

out his functions of inspecting and reporting on such

authorities (an “inspection framework”).

(2)   

The person authorised under section 139A(1) must—

(a)   

consult the Audit Commission before preparing an inspection

30

programme or an inspection framework; and

(b)   

once an inspection programme or inspection framework is

prepared, send a copy of it to—

(i)   

the Secretary of State; and

(ii)   

the Audit Commission.

35

(3)   

The Secretary of State may by order specify the form that inspection

programmes or inspection frameworks must take.

(4)   

A person authorised under section 139A(1)—

(a)   

must co-operate with the Audit Commission, and

 
 

Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill
Part 8 — Local services: inspection and audit
Chapter 2 — Audit Commission and auditors: functions and procedure

110

 

(b)   

may act jointly with the Audit Commission,

   

where it is appropriate to do so for the efficient and effective discharge

of the person’s functions in relation to English authorities.

(5)   

In this section—

“the Audit Commission” means the Audit Commission for Local

5

Authorities and the National Health Service in England;

“English authorities” means authorities administering housing

benefit or council tax benefit in England;

“person” does not include the Audit Commission.”

Inspections and audit

10

150     

Powers of auditors and inspectors to obtain information

(1)   

In section 6 of the Audit Commission Act 1998 (c. 18) (auditors’ right to

documents and information)—

(a)   

after subsection (1) insert—

“(1A)   

The right conferred by subsection (1) includes power to inspect,

15

copy or take away the document.”;

(b)   

after subsection (4) insert—

“(4A)   

In relation to a document kept in electronic form, the power in

subsection (2)(b) to require a person to produce a document

includes power to require it to be produced in a form in which

20

it is legible and can be taken away.

(4B)   

In connection with inspecting such a document, an auditor—

(a)   

may obtain access to, and inspect and check the

operation of, any computer and associated apparatus or

material which he considers is or has been used in

25

connection with the document;

(b)   

may require a person within subsection (4C) to afford

him such reasonable assistance as he may require for

that purpose.

(4C)   

A person is within this subsection if he is—

30

(a)   

the person by whom or on whose behalf the computer is

or has been used; or

(b)   

a person having charge of, or otherwise concerned with

the operation of, the computer, apparatus or material.”;

(c)   

in subsection (5), for “(4)” substitute “(4C)”;

35

(d)   

in subsection (6)—

(i)   

after “reasonable excuse” insert “obstructs the exercise of any

power conferred by this section or”;

(ii)   

for “subsection (1), (2) or (4)” substitute “this section”.

(2)   

In section 11 of the Local Government Act 1999 (c. 27) (inspectors’ powers and

40

duties in connection with best value inspections)—

(a)   

after subsection (1) insert—

“(1A)   

The right conferred by subsection (1)(b) includes power to

inspect, copy or take away the document.”;

 
 

Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill
Part 8 — Local services: inspection and audit
Chapter 2 — Audit Commission and auditors: functions and procedure

111

 

(b)   

after subsection (2) insert—

“(2A)   

In relation to a document kept in electronic form, the power in

subsection (2)(b) to require a person to produce a document

includes power to require it to be produced in a form in which

it is legible and can be taken away.

5

(2B)   

In connection with inspecting such a document, an inspector—

(a)   

may obtain access to, and inspect and check the

operation of, any computer and associated apparatus or

material which he considers is or has been used in

connection with the document;

10

(b)   

may require a person within subsection (2C) to afford

him such reasonable assistance as he may require for

that purpose.

(2C)   

A person is within this subsection if he is—

(a)   

the person by whom or on whose behalf the computer is

15

or has been used; or

(b)   

a person having charge of, or otherwise concerned with

the operation of, the computer, apparatus or material.”;

(c)   

in subsection (5), after “reasonable excuse” insert “obstructs the

exercise of any power conferred by this section or”.

20

151     

Inspections of best value authorities

(1)   

Section 10 of the Local Government Act 1999 (c. 27) (inspections) is amended

as follows.

(2)   

Before subsection (1) insert—

“(A1)   

The Audit Commission may carry out an inspection of a best value

25

authority’s performance of its functions or of any particular function or

functions.”

(3)   

In subsection (1), after “may” insert “, in particular,”.

Studies and reports etc

152     

National studies

30

(1)   

Part 3 of the Audit Commission Act 1998 (c. 18) (studies, performance

standards and other functions) is amended as follows.

(2)   

In section 33(6) (studies for improving economy etc in services)—

(a)   

before paragraph (a) insert—

“(za)   

consult the Secretary of State;”;

35

(b)   

in paragraph (c), omit “the Secretary of State,”;

(c)   

in paragraph (ca), after “consult” insert “the Welsh Ministers and”;

(d)   

after paragraph (e) insert “; and

(f)   

in the case of any other study relating to a body in

respect of which the Welsh Ministers may exercise

40

functions, consult the Welsh Ministers.”

(3)   

In section 34(6) (reports on impact of statutory provisions etc)—

 
 

Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill
Part 8 — Local services: inspection and audit
Chapter 2 — Audit Commission and auditors: functions and procedure

112

 

(a)   

for paragraph (b) substitute—

“(b)   

the Secretary of State;”;

(b)   

in paragraph (da), after “consult” insert “the Welsh Ministers and”.

153     

Studies at request of particular bodies

In the Audit Commission Act 1998 (c. 18), omit—

5

(a)   

section 35 (studies at request of bodies subject to audit);

(b)   

section 35A (studies for functional bodies at request of Greater London

Authority).

154     

Registered social landlords

(1)   

In section 40(1) of the Audit Commission Act 1998 (studies relating to

10

registered social landlords), omit “(other than registered social landlords in

Wales)”.

(2)   

In section 41A of that Act (inspections of registered social landlords), omit

subsection (1A) (registered social landlords in Wales).

(3)   

After section 41B of that Act insert—

15

“41C    

Advice and assistance for registered social landlords

(1)   

The Commission may, if it thinks it appropriate to do so, provide

advice or assistance to a registered social landlord for the purpose of

the exercise by the registered social landlord of its functions.

(2)   

Advice or assistance under this section may be provided on such terms,

20

including terms as to payment, as the Commission thinks fit.”

(4)   

Omit section 42 of that Act (consultancy services relating to audit of accounts

of registered social landlords).

(5)   

For section 43 of that Act substitute—

“43     

Meaning of “registered social landlord”

25

In sections 40 to 41C, “registered social landlord” means a body

registered as a social landlord under Part 1 of the Housing Act 1996,

other than a body mentioned in any of paragraphs (a) to (c) of section

56(2) of that Act (bodies registered in Wales).”

155     

Information about performance standards of local authorities etc

30

In the Audit Commission Act 1998, omit sections 44 to 47 (publication of

information about standards of performance).

 
 

 
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