Speaking at the CIPFA conference in Brighton, Livingstone said arrangements being put in place by the Audit Commission would be a boost to the Metropolitan Police, which he said traditionally suffered from a lack of management skills.
‘They have not been trained to run this substantial-sized business and there are real savings they could make inside the structure of the Met that could be put into front line services to increase policing on the street.
‘The Audit Commission is there to help that. It is the first time the commission has had its hands on the Met to look at it. And Sir John Stevens – the Metropolitan Police commissioner – wants it,’ he said.
Structural reforms have already taken place at the Met making savings, but Livingstone believes the Audit Commission can help find more.
The new mayor also revealed many of his new staff were drawn from the ranks of the audit commission while many other had come from KPMG.
During a fringe meeting at the CIPFA conference, during which Livingstone entertained a packed hall of delegates, he said he had instructed staff in his finance directorate to make all budget information available to all authority members in a move to increase openness.
Those who will actually audit were recently made public with district audit, the commission’s arms-length agency, winning audit work for the GLA itself.
Proposals to give work to HLB Kidsons and KPMG are also awaiting endorsement by the new authority.
Andrew Foster, head of the Audit Commission, has said that the new London authority, and its functional bodies, presented an opportunity to ‘experiment’ with audit arrangements.
So far full details of that vision have yet to be revealed but initial plans to have district audit and KPMG share certain responsibilities have been made public.
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