One in five councils failing to safeguard value, MPs warn

By Laura Sharman | 15 March 2019

One in five councils do not have proper arrangements in place to secure value for money for taxpayers, a new report has warned today.

The report, published by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), found some local authorities were also failing to put enough information in the public domain about their performance.

MPs have called for a ‘step change' in transparency and for local authorities to take immediate action when failings are identified by auditors.

PAC committee chair Meg Hillier said: ‘Taxpayers must be assured that their money is well-spent but, in too many cases, local bodies cannot properly safeguard value.’

The report also warned that partnership working could weaken accountability arrangements as local auditors are only able to achieve a partial view.

Ms Hiller added: ‘It is vital that local bodies take auditors’ concerns seriously, address them swiftly and ensure meaningful information on performance is made accessible to the public.’

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