Speaking after being told in answer to a Parliamentary Question that arrangements for a meeting between Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy and the Auditor General for Wales were 'in hand', Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Wales Roger Williams MP has blasted the complacency at the Wales Office over the Icelandic banking crisis.
Roger Williams has written to the Auditor General for Wales, asking what advice had been given to local authorities in Wales. During a recent Welsh Questions session, Welsh Secretary Paul Murphy revealed to Mr Williams that he had not met with the Auditor General since the start of the crisis. Commenting Roger Williams said: "You would have thought that someone of Paul Murphy's experience would be able to grasp the gravity of this situation, yet judging from this answer, he doesn't seem to be that bothered about talking to the Auditor General. "The Auditor General is responsible for scrutinising the finances of local authorities in Wales, and it is important we find out what advice and instruction was given to councils on this issue. "It's bad enough that the Welsh Secretary hasn't met with him since the crisis, but saying that even now arrangements are 'in hand' smacks of breathtaking complacency. "At Welsh Questions Paul Murphy faced concern on this issue from all sides of the House, yet he hasn't taken some of the most basic steps that we should expect from a Secretary of State." ENDS NotesText of Roger Williams MP's Parliamentary Question:Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he next plans to meet the Auditor General for Wales. Mr. Paul Murphy: Arrangements for my next meeting with the Auditor General are in hand.