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Councils ignoring public right to audit accounts


 
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Angela Wales



Joined: 11 Dec 2005
Posts: 4403
Location: Wales / Cymru

PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:50 pm    Post subject:
Councils ignoring public right to audit accounts
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Local authorities are refusing to let the public access key information on how their money is being spent, research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has found.

Authorities are:

redacting documents to “protect commercial interests”;
setting up council-owned companies that are removed from scrutiny;
failing to respond to members of the public who try to exercise their right to inspect council finances
The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 (LAAA) gives citizens and journalists the right to inspect the accounts and related documents of councils, police, fire and other local authorities, and to object to them if they believe something is amiss. It is an especially important right at a time when public bodies are under unprecedented financial pressure.

However, when Bureau journalists and volunteers attempted to exercise that right, some authorities withheld or heavily redacted the information. There was often little evidence that the public interest had been considered and no way of challenging the decision short of a costly court battle.


https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2019-09-11/councils-ignoring-public-right-to-audit-accounts
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