§ Mr. Robert B. Jones
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will take steps to draw to the attention of local authorities, the public and the press the information on value for money and consequent savings set out in the "Handbook on Economy, Efficiency and Effectiveness" recently published by the Audit Commission.614W
§ Mr. Patrick Jenkin
I understand that the Audit handbook, which was published in November 1983, has already been given by auditors to the leaders, chief executives, and treasurers of all principal local authorities in England and Wales. Copies of the handbook have already been placed in the Library of the House; and the chairman has sent copies to Ministers and Opposition Front Bench spokesmen with an interest in the services covered by the handbook. Additional copies are obtainable at a price of £10 from the Audit Commission, 3rd floor St. Lawrence house, 29–31 Broad street, Bristol BS1 2EX.
With each authority's copies of the handbook, the commission included an individual profile of the authority's expenditure comparing it with other authorities in the same "family". This profile is intended for that authority's use and is designed to that end. However the commission has decided that copies of profiles of individual authorities should be made available to all with a legitimate interest in the affairs of the authority concerned. Copies of the profiles can be obtained, at a price of £4.50 to cover the cost involved, from the above address. I understand that the commission is willing to supply to hon. Members on request, without charge, copies of the handbook together with the profiles of the authorities in their own constituencies.