NAO Sets Out Local Government Audit Brief
The National Audit Office, which is set to replace the Audit Commission, has met local council representatives to discuss issues about cost efficiencies and value for money of procurement programmes and service delivery.
The NAO briefed the Local Government Reference Panel (LGRP) - which includes representatives from nine local authorities as well as from the CIPFA and the University of Birmingham - on the recent visits the spending watchdog had made to over 20 local authorities as well as meetings between the NAO and organisations such as the Treasurers' Association.
It also enabled the NAO to gauge whether the findings of its reports to parliament were “having the desired impact” at a local level.
The Audit Commission – the body Eric Pickles dubbed a “creature of the Whitehall state” - is set to be scrapped by 2015, following the Department for Communities and Local Government minister’s announcement in 2010.
In March, five-year contracts to outsource the local audits currently carried out by the Audit Commission were awarded to several firms, including Grant Thornton and Mazars. The firms will TUPE staff from the Audit Commission and conduct all audit work from autumn 2012.
Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said: ‘The National Audit Office is committed to working with local authorities as we develop our local government work. The establishment of this panel is a positive step towards achieving that aim. Our focus is going to be on issues across the whole local government sector and how they can best be addressed.’