Audit Commission report highlights need for strong accounting with introduction of best value

In its management paper, Getting the Groundwork Right, the Commission reports on how local authorities should approach the financial management of trading units under best value.

It points out the lessons learnt from the final years of CCT and that the removal of the statutory accounting and reporting provisions of the CCT legislation could lead to weakening financial discipline for trading units.Under best value, more than half of all authorities expect the number of trading units they operate to increase.

In the light of the changes, the paper recommends that all significant council trading units should have an annual business plan while also stressing the reliability of in-year accounting and performance data.

It also highlights the role of the finance director as key in ensuring the stewardship of a local authority’s financial affairs and that financial reporting requires clarity about who receives what and when.

Audit Commission

Related reading