Book News: June 30th, 2005

This document from the Audit Commission explains how judgements are reached in
assessing how well councils manage and use their financial resources. It covers
financial reporting, financial management, financial standing, internal control
and value for money.

The use of resources assessment will be conducted annually in all councils. It
has been revised from that used previously and the assessment will offer
stronger judgements. The questions on which the judgements will be based are
broader and more strategic in their nature and reflect the impact of financial
arrangements as well as the adequacy of those arrangements. The value for money
judgement will draw on a self-assessment by the council. The higher standards
reflect a widespread view that the previous criteria did not sufficiently
differentiate between varied levels of performance. They also reflect the
principle of continuous improvement and will help establish clear minimum
requirements that will provide the foundation for reducing regulation in the

The overall use of resources score will be based on combining auditors’ scores
for each of the areas covered. The categories of overall assessment range from
performing strongly to below minimum requirements with inadequate performance.

The document is available at: