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(1)The Auditor General for Wales may, at the request of the Secretary of State, conduct,or assist the Secretary of State in conducting, benefit administration studies.
(2)Benefit administration studies are studies designed to enable recommendations to be made for improving economy, efficiency, and effectiveness and quality of performance in the discharge by one or more local authorities in Wales of functions relating to the administration of housing benefit or council tax benefit (or both).
(3)Any information obtained in the course of a benefit administration study may be disclosed by the Auditor General for Wales to the Secretary of State for the purposes of any functions of the Secretary of State which are connected with housing benefit or council tax benefit.
(4)The Auditor General for Wales must send to the Secretary of State a copy of a report of a benefit administration study carried out by the Auditor General for Wales.
(5)The Secretary of State or the Auditor General for Wales may send a copy of a report of a benefit administration study to any local authority to which the study relates.
(6)The Secretary of State may publish a report of a benefit administration study in conjunction with the Auditor General for Wales.
(7)The Auditor General for Wales may conduct, or assist the Secretary of State in conducting, a benefit administration study only if the Secretary of State has made arrangements for the payment to the Auditor General for Wales of a fee in respect of the study.
(8)The amount of the fee must be a reasonable amount agreed between the Secretary of State and the Auditor General for Wales.
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