§ Mrs. Rumbold
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he keeps a list of the accountancy firms recognised as competent to undertake local government audit work.
§ Mr. Heseltine
There is no such list. My Department keeps a record of the private sector auditors currently engaged in local authority audit work either because they have been selected by individual local authorities and approved by the Secretary of State to undertake individual audits, or because they have been appointed by the Secretary of State as additional district auditors. But local authorities are free to appoint an auditor from any accountancy firm provided that their choice complies with the necessary legal constraints.