The Audit Commission’s latest research, Tough Times 2013: Councils’ Responses to Financial Challenges From 2010/11 to 2013/14, shows that England’s councils have demonstrated a high degree of financial resilience over the last three years, despite a 20 per cent reduction in funding from government and a number of other financial challenges. But, the Commission says, with uncertainty ahead, councils must carry on adapting in order to fulfil their statutory duties and meet the needs of local people.
The Audit Commission’s annual report, Protecting the Public Purse 2013: Fighting Fraud against Local Government, highlights that £178 million of fraud was detected by local government in the last year. Just over three quarters of that total was detected by one quarter of councils.
The Audit Commission has published a briefing, drawn from its Value for Money (VFM) Profiles Tool, ‘Business rates: using data from the VFM Profiles, October 2013′. The briefing presents the Commission’s analysis of English councils’ collection rates and costs of collecting business rates.
The Audit Commission is consulting on its 2014/15 proposed work programme and scales of fees. We do not plan to make any changes to the work programme for 2014/15. We are therefore proposing that scale audit fees are set at the same level as the fees applicable for 2013/14, thus locking in the 40 per cent reduction made to fees from 2012. We will publish the final work programme and scales of fees for 2014/15 in March 2014.
The Audit Commission has published ‘Income from charging: Using data from the VFM Profiles, September 2013′, a briefing drawn from its Value for Money (VFM) Profiles. The briefing presents the Commission’s analysis of the £10.2 billion that English councils raised through charging for services in 2011/12.