Protecting the public purse

National studies

Our national reports and studies help public bodies manage the financial challenges they face by providing authoritative, unbiased, evidence-based analysis and advice.

Research focuses on financial and other management issues in local public services. It draws on analysis of local and national data and aims to help councils, NHS bodies and other local agencies review and challenge their current arrangements and performance.


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Protecting the Public Purse cover page

Protecting the Public Purse 2014

Fraud valued at £188 million was detected by England’s councils in 2013/14, a ten-fold increase since 1990. The figure beats all records for the past 25 years, the Audit Commission revealed in its latest report on fraud in local government. …

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Highest value of fraud detected by Councils since Audit Commission turned the spotlight on 25 years ago

Fraud valued at £188 million was detected by England’s councils in 2013/14, a ten-fold increase since 1990. The figure beats all records for the past 25 years, the Audit Commission revealed in its latest report on fraud in local government.

Cover of Interpreting the accounts: A review of local government financial ratios 2007/08 to 2012/13 – September 2014

Interpreting the accounts: A review of local government financial ratios 2007/08 to 2012/13 – September 2014

Developed in 2009, at a time when ‘government transparency’ was receiving considerably less attention than it does today, the Audit Commission’s Financial Ratios tool,[1] which publishes data from local government financial accounts, has had its last update. The tool provides …

Cover of Tough Times 2013

Tough Times 2013

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 …

Cover of Protecting the public purse 2013

Protecting the public purse 2013

This report 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. Jeremy Newman, chairman of the Audit Commission says: “We …

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