The Audit Commission of Local Government in the UK


This paper examines the Audit Commission of local government in the United Kingdom. The function of the Audit Commission, established in 1983 as an independent public corporation and dissolved in 2015, is to audit administration by the local authorities. However, in fact, the Audit Commission has been playing roles of the policy maker and influencing policy making process beyond the auditors. In this paper I clarify the role of the Audit Commission as decision maker for local administration. This paper consists of three parts. First, I scrutinize relation between the recommendation in the annual report of the Audit Commission and public policy codified in the statutes about the housing, health, education and police: (1) sale of council housing under the Right to Buy policy and the Housing Act 1985, (2) pointing out of confusion on responsibility for the community health care and the fund holding practices in the National Health Service and Community Care Act 1990, (3) the body corporate for the further education and the Education Reform Act 1988, (4) inspection of the local education authority and School Standard and Framework Act 1998, and (5) review of crime by young person and the Police Act 1996, respectively. Second, I analyze the role of the Audit Commission from viewpoints of extension of Layfield Committee, Value for Money strategy, limit of the Circular and requirement of integrated recommendations for the local government. Finally, I discuss the Audit Commission as the policy maker in the UK.

Author Information
Yoshihiro Nagata, Nagoya University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: ACEID2016
Stream: Education: social and political movements

This paper is part of the ACEID2016 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon