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Lord Livsey of Talgarth: My Lords, as the noble Baroness has said, the situation is analogous to a public accounts committee rather than an audit committee. I am aware that there may be problems from the point of view of the Assembly which the Minister may refer to, but he will have to seek to justify the comments of the Assembly auditor, who has some doubts about the wisdom of the committee being called by this name. We shall listen carefully to what the Minister has to say. We believe that the general direction of the amendment is correct in accounting terms and is easy to understand because we all know what a public accounts committee is. It is a body independent of the executive which can examine issues in the accounts and verify them in a searching way. At the moment, we support the amendment.

Lord Evans of Temple Guiting: My Lords, as I outlined in Committee, we firmly believe that this is a matter for the Assembly. Indeed, I am slightly mystified by the remark of the noble Lord,
27 Jun 2006 : Column 1142
Lord Livsey. If I heard it correctly, he implied that the Assembly auditor wants this change. I can tell him that in its consideration of the Bill, the Assembly has expressed a view that a name similar to that of the Public Accounts Committee should be avoided and that it is happy with the name of the committee as set out. The Government believe that the Assembly should be able to initiate a change of name for a committee if it chooses to do so. Under Part 3 there is a clear mechanism by which the Assembly may achieve this. It may apply for an Order in Council to confer legislative competence on the Assembly to reform the name and functions of the Audit Committee by Assembly measure, but I wish to stress the point to the Liberal Democrats that this is the name the Assembly wants for the committee; it does not want a change.

Furthermore, as I attempted to explain in Committee, Amendment No. 15 inserts a provision that the Assembly may give the Audit Committee,

That is simply not practical. Standing orders could not authorise the Assembly to change references to the Audit Committee in other legislation such as the Care Standards Act 2000. This would cause legal inconsistency and confusion, none of which would be in the public interest. As I acknowledged in Committee, it is very important for the Audit Committee's role to be made clear; that is, to scrutinise the use of financial resources by Welsh Ministers and the other persons and bodies funded out of the Welsh Consolidated Fund, and to hold those persons and bodies to account. The people of Wales have not had any difficulty in understanding that this is the role of the current Audit Committee. Given that we are talking about an Assembly and about something that it wants, I hope that the noble Baroness will feel able to withdraw her amendment.

6.30 pm

Baroness Noakes: My Lords, I thank the Minister for that reply and I thank the noble Lord, Lord Livsey, for his support. If the Assembly wants to have a name other than the one it is given in the Act, it ought to be able to achieve that by a mechanism a lot less cumbersome than applying for an Order in Council. I am sure the Minister will be aware that the chances of getting that pushed through are pretty remote. If the Minister had said that he was prepared to produce an amendment to Schedule 5 to the Bill to allow a measure-making power, that might have been an acceptable response. But he does not want to do that. The Minister wants to impose the name "Audit Committee" for a good length of time on the Welsh governance arrangements.

I do not believe that the issue of cross-reference to other legislation is insuperable. Amendments could be used to deal with existing legislation and future legislation needs only to refer to the committee required by Clause 30. These are not substantive reasons for not pursuing this matter. I beg leave to test the opinion of the House.
27 Jun 2006 : Column 1143

6.31 pm

On Question, Whether the said amendment (No. 15) shall be agreed to?

Their Lordships divided: Contents, 155; Not-Contents, 127.

Division No.

Division No. 4>

Addington, L.
Alliance, L.
Alton of Liverpool, L.
Anelay of St Johns, B.
Arran, E.
Ashcroft, L.
Attlee, E.
Avebury, L.
Bagri, L.
Barker, B.
Blackwell, L.
Blaker, L.
Bowness, L.
Bridgeman, V.
Brooke of Sutton Mandeville, L.
Brougham and Vaux, L.
Buscombe, B.
Byford, B.
Caithness, E.
Campbell of Alloway, L.
Carnegy of Lour, B.
Chadlington, L.
Colwyn, L.
Cope of Berkeley, L. [Teller]
Cotter, L.
Courtown, E.
Crathorne, L.
Crickhowell, L.
De Mauley, L.
Dholakia, L.
Dixon-Smith, L.
Dundee, E.
Dykes, L.
Eccles, V.
Elles, B.
Elliott of Morpeth, L.
Elton, L.
Falkland, V.
Falkner of Margravine, B.
Feldman, L.
Ferrers, E.
Finlay of Llandaff, B.
Fowler, L.
Freeman, L.
Fritchie, B.
Gardner of Parkes, B.
Geddes, L.
Glasgow, E.
Glenarthur, L.
Greenway, L.
Griffiths of Fforestfach, L.
Hamilton of Epsom, L.
Hamwee, B.
Hanham, B.
Harris of Peckham, L.
Harris of Richmond, B.
Hayhoe, L.
Henley, L.
Higgins, L.
Hodgson of Astley Abbotts, L.
Hogg, B.
Hooson, L.
Howe, E.
Howe of Aberavon, L.
Howe of Idlicote, B.
Hunt of Wirral, L.
Inglewood, L.
Jenkin of Roding, L.
Jones of Cheltenham, L.
Jopling, L.
Kimball, L.
King of Bridgwater, L.
Kingsland, L.
Kirkham, L.
Laidlaw, L.
Lamont of Lerwick, L.
Lang of Monkton, L.
Lee of Trafford, L.
Lester of Herne Hill, L.
Lewis of Newnham, L.
Livsey of Talgarth, L.
Luke, L.
Lyell of Markyate, L.
McColl of Dulwich, L.
Mackie of Benshie, L.
Maclennan of Rogart, L.
McNally, L.
Mancroft, L.
Mar and Kellie, E.
Marlesford, L.
Mayhew of Twysden, L.
Methuen, L.
Miller of Chilthorne Domer, B.
Miller of Hendon, B.
Montgomery of Alamein, V.
Montrose, D.
Morris of Bolton, B.
Murton of Lindisfarne, L.
Newton of Braintree, L.
Noakes, B.
Northesk, E.
Northover, B.
Norton of Louth, L.
Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, L.
O'Cathain, B.
Onslow, E.
Oppenheim-Barnes, B.
Palumbo, L.
Patten, L.
Pearson of Rannoch, L.
Phillips of Sudbury, L.
Pilkington of Oxenford, L.
Platt of Writtle, B.
Rawlings, B.
Reay, L.
Redesdale, L.
Renfrew of Kaimsthorn, L.
Roberts of Conwy, L.
Roberts of Llandudno, L. [Teller]
Rogan, L.
Roper, L.
Saltoun of Abernethy, Ly.
Scott of Needham Market, B.
Seccombe, B.
Selborne, E.
Selsdon, L.
Sharp of Guildford, B.
Sharples, B.
Shaw of Northstead, L.
Shephard of Northwold, B.
Shutt of Greetland, L.
Skelmersdale, L.
Smith of Clifton, L.
Taverne, L.
Tebbit, L.
Teverson, L.
Thomas of Gresford, L.
Thomas of Walliswood, B.
Thomas of Winchester, B.
Tonge, B.
Tordoff, L.
Trefgarne, L.
Trenchard, V.
Tyler, L.
Ullswater, V.
Vallance of Tummel, L.
Verma, B.
Waddington, L.
Wade of Chorlton, L.
Wakeham, L.
Wallace of Saltaire, L.
Walmsley, B.
Walpole, L.
Wilcox, B.
Williams of Crosby, B.


Adams of Craigielea, B.
Adonis, L.
Amos, B. [Lord President.]
Anderson of Swansea, L.
Andrews, B.
Archer of Sandwell, L.
Ashton of Upholland, B.
Bach, L.
Barnett, L.
Bassam of Brighton, L.
Bhattacharyya, L.
Billingham, B.
Blackstone, B.
Borrie, L.
Bragg, L.
Brett, L.
Brooke of Alverthorpe, L.
Brookman, L.
Campbell-Savours, L.
Carter of Coles, L.
Christopher, L.
Clark of Windermere, L.
Clarke of Hampstead, L.
Clinton-Davis, L.
Cohen of Pimlico, B.
Colville of Culross, V.
Corbett of Castle Vale, L.
Crawley, B.
Darcy de Knayth, B.
David, B.
Davidson of Glen Clova, L.
Davies of Coity, L.
Davies of Oldham, L. [Teller]
Dean of Thornton-le-Fylde, B.
Donoughue, L.
Drayson, L.
Dubs, L.
Elystan-Morgan, L.
Evans of Parkside, L.
Farrington of Ribbleton, B.
Faulkner of Worcester, L.
Foulkes of Cumnock, L.
Fyfe of Fairfield, L.
Gale, B.
Giddens, L.
Golding, B.
Goldsmith, L.
Gordon of Strathblane, L.
Goudie, B.
Grocott, L. [Teller]
Harris of Haringey, L.
Harrison, L.
Hart of Chilton, L.
Haskel, L.
Haskins, L.
Haworth, L.
Henig, B.
Hilton of Eggardon, B.
Hogg of Cumbernauld, L.
Hollis of Heigham, B.
Howells of St. Davids, B.
Howie of Troon, L.
Hoyle, L.
Hughes of Woodside, L.
Hunt of Chesterton, L.
Janner of Braunstone, L.
Jay of Paddington, B.
Jones, L.
King of West Bromwich, L.
Kinnock, L.
Kirkhill, L.
Laird, L.
Lea of Crondall, L.
Leitch, L.
Lipsey, L.
Lockwood, B.
Lofthouse of Pontefract, L.
McDonagh, B.
Macdonald of Tradeston, L.
McIntosh of Hudnall, B.
MacKenzie of Culkein, L.
Mackenzie of Framwellgate, L.
McKenzie of Luton, L.
Mason of Barnsley, L.
Massey of Darwen, B.
Maxton, L.
Moonie, L.
Morgan, L.
Morgan of Drefelin, B.
Morgan of Huyton, B.
Morris of Aberavon, L.
Morris of Handsworth, L.
Morrow, L.
Nicol, B.
O'Neill of Clackmannan, L.
Parekh, L.
Patel of Blackburn, L.
Pendry, L.
Prys-Davies, L.
Quin, B.
Ramsay of Cartvale, B.
Rendell of Babergh, B.
Robertson of Port Ellen, L.
Rooker, L.
Rosser, L.
Rowlands, L.
Royall of Blaisdon, B.
Sawyer, L.
Scotland of Asthal, B.
Simon, V.
Smith of Leigh, L.
Snape, L.
Soley, L.
Symons of Vernham Dean, B.
Taylor of Blackburn, L.
Taylor of Bolton, B.
Temple-Morris, L.
Thornton, B.
Truscott, L.
Tunnicliffe, L.
Turner of Camden, B.
Warner, L.
Warwick of Undercliffe, B.
Whitaker, B.
Wilkins, B.
Williamson of Horton, L.
Young of Norwood Green, L.

Resolved in the affirmative, and amendment agreed to accordingly.

27 Jun 2006 : Column 1145
6.42 pm

Baroness Noakes moved Amendments Nos. 16 to 18:

On Question, amendments agreed to.

Clause 31 [Standing orders]:

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