“Audit review raises prospect of new transparency rules for s151s” [Finance Officers]

“A review of local government audit announced by the government this week will consider new measures to give the public better access to financial information produced by section 151 officers.

Local government secretary James Brokenshire this week revealed the review, which will report next Spring, will be headed up by former Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) president Sir Tony Redmond.

Brokenshire told the House of Commons this week that the review will examine the purpose, scope and quality of statutory audits of councils in England and the supporting regulatory framework.

The review follows concerns about the quality of local authority audits following the abolition of the Audit Commission in 2014.

Speaking to CIPFA’s annual conference in Birmingham this week, Brokenshire said: “Concerns have been recently raised about audit quality and whether the audit framework is too fragmented.”

But he said that restoring confidence in the audit regime needs to be accompanied by improvements in the way financial information is presented by local authorities.

He said: “As a result, I have also asked Tony to include transparency of financial reporting within the scope of his review.

“To be absolutely clear, I am approaching this with an open mind but our aim must be to ensure that the financial reporting and audit framework helps members, section 151s and chief executives to make informed and responsible decisions about improvements and is more open and accountable to our citizens.” …”

Audit review raises prospect of new transparency rules for s151s

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