Public exercise of inspection and objection rights under Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014

Megan I Waugh made this Rhyddid Gwybodaeth request to Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council as part of a batch sent to 341 authorities

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Roedd y cais yn llwyddiannus.

Dear Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council,

The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 provides members of the public with rights to inspect, within an annual inspection window, the council’s accounts and related documents. It also provides local electors with the right to object to an item of the accounts. Prior to the 2014 Act these same rights were enshrined in the Audit Commission Act 1998.

As a regular user of these rights, in my capacity as a local journalist, local elector, member of accountability campaigns and academic researcher I am interested in understanding the frequency and the way in which these rights are being used across the country.

The MHCLG have recently launched an independent inquiry into the quality of local authority audit (the Redmond Review). One of the questions in the recent call for views asks whether the “the inspection and objection regime allow local residents to hold their council to account in an effective manner?” whilst also acknowledging that data is not currently gathered at a national level on the citizen uses of these rights. I feel there is therefore a strong public interest in the timely disclosure of the information in this request.

Please provide the following information:

A. For all the objections you received between 2009 and 2019 (i.e. relating to financial years 2008/9 to 2018/19 inclusive) please provide the following information in an excel spreadsheet. Please use the list below as column headers and compile the data for each objection in a separate row.

1. Objection reference no.
2. Financial year the objection relates to
3. Subject/summary of the objection
4. Date objection was received
5. Did objector ask the auditor make a referral to the High Court?
6. Did objector ask the auditor to issue a Public Interest Report?
7. Was the objection accepted as valid?
8. If not, why?
9. Was a public interest report issued?
10. Was a referral made to the High Court?
11. If so, what was the High Court’s decision?
12. Were any other recommendations made or actions taken by the auditor under the powers set out in Section 24 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act?
13. Date objector was sent a final decision notice
14. How much was the council charged by the auditor to carry out work in relation to the objection?

B. For all the inspection requests you received between 2009 and 2019 (i.e. relating to financial years from 2008/9 to 2018/19 inclusive), please provide the following information in an excel spreadsheet. Please use the list below as column headers and compile the data for each inspection request in a separate row.

1. Inspection reference number
2. Financial year inspection request refers to
3. Date request for information received
4. Was the request accepted as valid?
5. If not, why?
6. Was request transferred to FOI?
7. If transferred to FOI, what was the justification for doing so?
8. Subject/summary of request as recorded
9. Which department(s) dealt with the information request?
10. Date the response and documents requested were sent to requester

Yours faithfully,

Megan I Waugh

Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

1 Atodiad

Dear Miss Waugh,

Request for Information RFI-0324-19

 

Thank you for your request for information relating to Public exercise of
inspection and objection rights under Local Audit and Accountability Act
2014 which was received on 25 September 2019.

 

In accordance with the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2000
the council will respond to your request within 20 working days, saying
whether we have the information that you want, and if there will be any
charges. 

 

If, for any reason, we cannot provide you with the information, we will
tell you why.

If we need to clarify your request, we will contact you again.

 

In the meantime, if you need to contact me about your request, please do
so quoting the above reference number.

 

Yours sincerely,

Julie Noble

 

 

Assurance Team, Resources and Transformation

Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council,

Civic Centre,

Darwall Street,

Walsall, WS1 1DG

Tel: 0800 0856 018

Email: [Walsall Council request email]

Service area: [1]walsall.gov.uk/ Information Governance and Assurance

Website:  [2]www.walsall.gov.uk

 

[3]http://int.walsall.gov.uk/portals/0/Comm...

Disclaimer: IF THIS EMAIL IS MARKED PRIVATE OR CONFIDENTIAL - PLEASE
RESPECT CONFIDENTIALITY AND DO NOT SHARE OR FORWARD IT TO ANYONE ELSE
WITHOUT THE EXPRESS CONSENT OF THE AUTHOR. The information in this message
should be regarded as confidential and is intended for the addressee only
unless explicitly stated.  If you have received this message in error it
must be deleted and the sender notified.  The views expressed in this
message are personal and not necessarily those of Walsall MBC unless
explicitly stated.  E-mails sent or received from Walsall MBC may be
intercepted and read by the Council.  Interception will only occur to
ensure compliance with Council policies or procedures or regulatory
obligations, to prevent or detect crime. You should also be aware that any
email may be the subject of a request under Data Protection, Freedom of
Information or Environmental Information legislation and therefore could
be disclosed to third parties.

 

E-mail Security: Communication by internet email is not secure as
messages can be intercepted and read by someone else. Therefore we
strongly advise you not to email any information, which if disclosed to
unrelated third parties would be likely to cause harm or distress. If you
have an enquiry of this nature please provide a postal address to allow us
to communicate with you in a more secure way. If you want us to respond by
email you must realise that there can be no guarantee of privacy.

 

 

References

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2. https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlo...

Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council

2 Atodiad

Dear Miss Waugh,

 

Freedom of Information Request RFI-0324-19

 

Further to your request for information about Public exercise of
inspection and objection rights under Local Audit and Accountability Act
2014, please refer to the attached document for further information. 

Most of the information that we provide in response to Freedom of
Information Act 2000 requests will be subject to copyright protection.  In
most cases the copyright will be owned by Walsall Council. The copyright
in respect of other information may be owned by another person or
organisation, as indicated.

 

You are free to use any information supplied to you in response to this
request for your own non-commercial research or private study purposes.
The information may also be used for any other purpose allowed by a
limitation or exception in copyright law, such as news reporting.
 However, any other type of re-use, for example by publishing the
information in analogue or digital form, including on the internet, will
require the permission of the copyright owner.

I hope that the information provided is useful to you. However, if you are
dissatisfied, you should set out in writing your grounds for complaint and
send to: Corporate Assurance Manager, Resources & Transformation, Civic
Centre, Darwall Street, Walsall, WS1 1TP.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of your complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for a decision.
Please remember that, generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you
have first exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the council. The
Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9
5AF. [1]https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/

Yours sincerely,

Kim Pahal - Assurance Officer 

 

Assurance Team, Resources and Transformation

Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council,

Civic Centre,

Darwall Street,

Walsall, WS1 1DG

Tel: 0800 0856 018

Email: [Walsall Council request email]

Service area: [2]walsall.gov.uk/ Information Governance and Assurance

Website:  [3]www.walsall.gov.uk

 

[4]http://int.walsall.gov.uk/portals/0/Comm...

Disclaimer: IF THIS EMAIL IS MARKED PRIVATE OR CONFIDENTIAL - PLEASE
RESPECT CONFIDENTIALITY AND DO NOT SHARE OR FORWARD IT TO ANYONE ELSE
WITHOUT THE EXPRESS CONSENT OF THE AUTHOR. The information in this message
should be regarded as confidential and is intended for the addressee only
unless explicitly stated.  If you have received this message in error it
must be deleted and the sender notified.  The views expressed in this
message are personal and not necessarily those of Walsall MBC unless
explicitly stated.  E-mails sent or received from Walsall MBC may be
intercepted and read by the Council.  Interception will only occur to
ensure compliance with Council policies or procedures or regulatory
obligations, to prevent or detect crime. You should also be aware that any
email may be the subject of a request under Data Protection, Freedom of
Information or Environmental Information legislation and therefore could
be disclosed to third parties.

 

E-mail Security: Communication by internet email is not secure as
messages can be intercepted and read by someone else. Therefore we
strongly advise you not to email any information, which if disclosed to
unrelated third parties would be likely to cause harm or distress. If you
have an enquiry of this nature please provide a postal address to allow us
to communicate with you in a more secure way. If you want us to respond by
email you must realise that there can be no guarantee of privacy.

 

 

 

References

Visible links
1. https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/
2. https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlo...
3. https://eur01.safelinks.protection.outlo...