Policy context

1. This Code is issued to meet the Government’s desire to place more power

into citizens’ hands to increase democratic accountability. Transparency gives

local people the tools and information they need to hold local public bodies to

account.

2. The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 sets out a new audit framework

for local public authorities which are currently covered by the Audit

Commission regime. Under the new audit framework smaller authorities,

including parish councils, internal drainage boards, charter trustees and port

health authorities, with an annual turnover not exceeding £25,000 will be

exempt from routine external audit. In place of routine audit, these smaller

authorities will be subject to the new transparency requirements laid out in this

Code. This will enable local electors and ratepayers to access relevant

information about the authorities’ accounts and governance.

3. The Government considers that publication of the items in this Code will

provide the local electorate and ratepayers with a clear picture of the activities

of these smaller authorities. Most of this information is already produced by

the majority of smaller authorities with a turnover not exceeding £25,000, and

the Government therefore considers that compliance with this Code will not

place a significant burden on these authorities

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