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Leicestershire & Rutland
Association of Local Councils

Supporting Local Councils in Leicestershire & Rutland

Jubilee Hall

Chief Executive: Jake Atkinson
Jubilee Hall, Stadon Road
Anstey, Leicester LE7 7AY

Tel: 0116 235 3800

Journalists and inspection of parish and town council accounts

Posted: Tue, 16 May 2017 09:00 by Jake Atkinson

Grant Thornton - Limited Assurance 2016/17 - Bulletin 3 – New rights of inspection

Journalists now have the right to inspect the accounts (but it's still only electors who can raise questions and objections with the external auditor).

The Local Audit (Public Access to Documents) Act 2017 (the Act) received royal assent on 27 April 2017. The Act extends rights of inspection under section 26 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2017 to include journalists and citizen journalists. The Act defines a journalist as 'any person who produces for publication journalistic material (whether paid to do so or otherwise).'

While the Act extends rights of inspection, there are no changes in respect of external auditors' additional powers and duties. The rights under the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 to ask the auditor questions about the accounts, and to make an objection at audit, continue to be restricted to local government electors only.

This is applicable to all smaller bodies for the 2016/17 year of account and this year's period for the exercise of public rights. So it is even more crucial that when you have approved your Annual Governance Statement and Accounting Statements, you make sure you publish them on your website along with the Notice and Declaration and commence the 30 day period for the exercise of public rights (covering the first 10 working days of July) - there may be more interest this year with journalists wanting to inspect the accounts.

Kind Regards,

Maddy

Maddy Temple-Murray | Audit Assistant | Limited Assurance | Audit

For Grant Thornton UK LLP

Royal Liver Building | Liverpool | L3 1PS

T (direct) +44 (0)151 224 2419 | T (internal) 42419 | T (office) +44 (0)151 224 7200

E maddy.temple-murray@uk.gt.com | W grantthornton.co.uk

Tags: LRALC, Financial, Finance & Audit, audit