Review of Local Authority Audits welcomed

A review of local authority audits and whether they are spotting warning signs early enough, has been welcomed by the Chair of the council’s Audit and Risk Committee, Councillor Jeff Green.

The move, launched by Communities Secretary Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, will examine the effectiveness of local authority financial reporting and audit regime.

Councillor Green said: “Here in Wirral, we are seeing the Cabinet undertaking a range of projects that increase the risk to the taxpayer.  We need to make sure that any warning signs are spotted early enough and that the way we do this is to the standard expected. 

“I’m also keen that council finances and reports are easily understood and easily available to the public.  That means less jargon and more plain English.”

James Brokenshire said: “There are potentially far-reaching consequences when audits aren’t carried out properly and they fail to detect significant problems. 

“Local authorities in England are responsible for 22% of total UK public sector expenditure so the way local authorities report their accounts must be of the highest level of transparency and quality. 

“The review will also look at how councils publish their annual accounts and if their financial reporting system is sufficiently transparent to be held to account.”

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