By Jonathan Isaby
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He asked the DCLG "on what dates representatives of the Audit Commission dined with representatives of the National Audit Office paid for by the public purse since 2007-08; in which restaurants each meal took place; and at what cost".
The Audit Commission is of course responsible for auditing the spending of taxpayers' money and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles announced its abolition last year. It has come in for criticism before over its profligacy with public funds.
Anyhow, the following reply to Griffiths enquiry came back from the chief executive of the Audit Commission, Eugene Sullivan:
The Commission has paid for meals with the NAO on five occasions since 2007/08:
The Commission dined with the NAO on three occasions where the Commission did not pay.
It is unclear whether or not the NAO footed the bill for those latter three engagements.
Andrew Grififths responded thus:
"The Audit Commission continues to make a mockery of its position as the council spending watchdog. These latest revelations of quangos dining quangos are an insult to the taxpayers it was set up to protect and represent the culture of waste allowed to fester under a Labour government. By opening up the books and shining a spotlight on waste, it is thanks to this Government that people can now see the abuse of taxpayer funds that Labour and its cronies spent years trying to cover up. We will continue to root out waste of public expenditure and lead the way in ensuring taxpayers get value for money."