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Backing for Audit Commission's demise

An interesting report on Public Finance about representatives from the Local Government Association, Chief Fire Officers Association and District and County Councils Networks giving evidence to the Commons’ Communities and Local Government Select Committee welcoming the abolition of th Audit Commission.

Robert Light, deputy chairman of the Local Government Association’s leadership board, felt the Audit Commission had "had its day" while free market environment for appointing auditors "could provide a better, more cost-effective option" for councils. Jill Shortland, also from the LGA said the Audit Commission had been "over burdensome for local authorities" adding: "The work local authorities had to put in for every piece of work and inspection was horrendous.... it was government reaching down and interfering with local government rather than supporting us."

Peter Holland, of the Chief Fire Officers Association, lamented "we were feeding the beast of the Audit Commission rather than getting on and delivering the service." While Cllr Peter Fleming, from Sevenoaks District Council, called for the commission’s in-house audit practice to be allowed to "float off and mutualise as soon as possible" to open up the market.

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