Headlines: August 2nd, 2000

The Audit Commission has proposed its own changes to the audit regime for smaller local councils, following complaints that the system is so burdensome it fails to add value to the work of the organisation being checked. It has proposed a ‘lighter touch’ audit regime for the smaller town and parish councils, for example by introducing less rigorous forms of external scrutiny, or increasing the length of time between audits.The Audit Commission, which is responsible for inspecting all local authorities and health authorities for economy, efficiency and effectiveness, has proposals to re-invest the time saved into developing regulatory and support roles independent of the audit function, and paying more attention to the quality of local council audit. The commission is welcoming comments on The Audit of Parish, Town and Community Councils which is available free from the commission, on 020 7396 149