current affairs

Audit Commission closure links

Some more links on the Audit Commission story, which back up my view that axing the Commission is an error:

Via Liberal Conspiracy and Full Fact

One reply on “Audit Commission closure links”

In another life I was press office and public affairs director for the Audit Commission. About 20% of district audit capacity in my day (which ended in 1997) was put out to tender to the private sector. Indeed the District Auditor who painstakingly built the case against Dame Shirley Porter, John Magiill, was a senior man at Touche Ross.

It suited a Tory government to establish the Audit Commission as a means of bringing to heal mainly Labour local administrations, but it work under first Sir John Banham, then Sir Howard Davies and Sir Andrew Foster showed it was pretty good at both exposing mis-use of public funds in local government and later the NHS.

Its value for money studies have been instrumental in spreading best practice, while its public interest reports have named and shamed some of the sloppiest and most profligate public sector processes. One example of this was when it shone the light of scrutiny into Eric Pickles’ old local authority in Bradford which prompted the District Auditor to highlight “significant weaknesses in the processes that were followed during the procurement of a £1.2 billion asset management project”.

Some commentators have suggested that the abolition of the Audit Commission is ideological, but I wonder whether there might be a touch of score settling on behalf of former colleagues.

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