§ Mr. Barry Field
To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department what plans he has for the Legal Aid Board to contract out its visits systems to solicitors' offices; and what is the estimated cost to the Legal Aid Board of the franchise audit operation. 
§ Mr. Jonathan Evans
There are no plans for the Legal Aid Board to contract out its system of franchise audit visits to solicitors' offices. The audit costs are not currently separable from the overall administrative cost of franchising, which was £3.2 million in 1995–96. This included the cost of auditing and related costs such as the recruitment and training of auditors.