CIPFA stresses importance of strong local public audit


The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has welcomed the Local Audit Bill ad Hoc Committee’s report on the Draft Local Audit Bill.

The Committee’s report underlines the concern expressed by CIPFA in its evidence that the draft Bill does not adequately safeguard the unique characteristics of public audit including value for money and the independence of auditors from those being audited.

Public audit is a critical element of strong Public Financial Management (PFM), alongside the ability to compare the performance of public bodies. Previously the Audit Commission facilitated comparison of this data, the report highlights some of CIPFA’s concerns that this may not continue following the Commission’s abolition.

The report also recommends that a central procurement capacity should be retained. CIPFA believes this recommendation deserves further consideration as this was one of the primary concerns that originally drove the creation of the Audit Commission.

Ian Carruthers, CIPFA’s Director of Policy and Technical, commented,

“The Bill Committee has raised a number of important concerns about the draft Local Audit Bill which reinforce those previously raised by CIPFA. We urge the Government to consider these issues seriously and work with us to address them.”


Contact: Matthew Patterson

CIPFA Press Office

t 0207 543 5787


Notes to Editors:

  • The three main principles set out by the Public Audit Forum in 1998 together articulate the unique characteristics of public audit:
    • (a) Independence of public sector auditors from the organisations being audited;
    • (b) The wide scope of public audit, covering the audit of financial statements, regularity, propriety and value for money; and
    • (c) The ability of public auditors to make the results of their audits available to the public, to democratically elected representatives, and to other key stakeholders.
  • In its Fixing the Foundations prospectus CIPFA sets out the case for a global improvement in public financial management and calls for a co-ordinated and concerted global effort to tackle weak public financial management. More information can be found here:
  • In 2009 CIPFA and the Department for International Development launched a consultation paper on a whole system approach to public financial management. It set out a complete picture of all of the pieces that work together for effective public financial management and it also mapped the range of global, regional and national institutions and bodies that support or influence PFM development. Surprisingly, that knowledge has never been brought together before. More information can be found here: