Protecting the public purse

Statement in response to the Local Audit and Accountability Bill included in the Queen’s Speech 2013

Jeremy Newman, Chairman of the Audit Commission, said: ‘The inclusion of The Local Audit and Accountability Bill in this year’s Queen’s Speech represents a significant step towards a smooth transition to new public audit arrangements. Even as we move closer towards the Commission’s controlled closedown, our work continues to ensure cost effective local accountability and audit of public spending.

‘The Commission is fully committed to working with government and partner organisations to facilitate the planned transfer of our responsibilities to appropriate host bodies. We continue to work with our sponsor Departments, audited bodies and a range of other stakeholders to determine the best way to implement the new framework to maintain confidence in the public audit regime.’

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors:

  • The Audit Commission’s role is to protect the public purse.
  • We do this by appointing auditors to a range of local public bodies in England. We set the standards we expect auditors to meet and oversee their work. Our aim is to secure high-quality audits at the best price possible.
  • We use information from auditors and published data to provide authoritative, evidence-based analysis. This helps local public services to learn from one another and manage the financial challenges they face.
  • We also compare data across the public sector to identify where services could be open to abuse and help organisations fight fraud.
  • The duties and powers of auditors appointed by the Audit Commission are set out in the Audit Commission Act 1998 and the Local Government Act 1999 and the Commission’s statutory Code of Audit Practice.
  • Appointed auditors act quite separately from the Commission and are required to exercise their professional judgement independently of both the Commission and the audited body.