NEWS & UPDATES
Media coverage of our Democracy Denied report
Our latest report, “Democracy Denied: Audit and accountability failure in local government” has received more media coverage since the latest newsletter.
The Ferret in Scotland published a very comprehensive piece about our calls to ban private companies from local government audit, including problems with conflict of interest inherent to them. The article was written by Ian Fraser and Jamie Mann and can be read online.
The Private Eye also covered our report in issue #1547, writing about the false economy of austerity and abolishing the Audit Commission. The article is not online but People’s Audit has tweeted a screenshot.
Recordings of our previous events now online
In May, we hosted two events: on the 7th of May, a discussion on how to best use the accountability and information rights we have, with experts on FOI rights, citizen auditors, journalists and researchers in the room. On the 19th of May, we heard from experienced practitioners and talked about accountability in local government through the lens of participatory practices.
We recorded both events, and the recording are now online:
7 May: Democracy denied – how do we hold local government accountable?
19 May: Reimagining accountability in local government
Thank you to everyone who spoke and participated – we really enjoyed both events and hope you did too! Please watch and share the recordings, as they are a great resource.
Exercising public rights under the LAA Act
The public can inspect council accounts and residents can object to spending after draft accounts have been published, before they are approved by the auditor.
The time period for exercising the public rights usually begins in June in England and July in the other nations of the UK. However, this year authorities and their auditors have been given more time to complete the accounts, which means that the inspection and objection period might also be delayed.
However, the updated legislation says that authorities must “publish (which must include publication on the authority’s website) as soon as reasonably practicable a notice stating that it has not been able to commence the period for the exercise of public rights and its reasons for this” – which means that if you can’t find the inspection notice on a council’s website, it is worth contacting them.
New resource on debt audits by Eurodad
Our friends at Eurodad – which stands for the European network on debt and development – published a briefing on debt audits last week.
It covers what is analysed under a debt audit, how to undertake the process, what difficulties can be expected, as well as previous examples and resources on debt audits. The focus is on national debts, which has traditionally been the subject of audits, especially official ones, and this briefing makes very interesting reading for those who want to know more about the global context of audits.