The 2014 Local Audit and Accountability Act gave citizens the authority to scrutinise councils’ expenditure. During the inspection of the accounts for 2015-16, Lambeth Council received an unprecedented number of applications to inspect the accounts. The requests asked for significant volumes of information (one query asked for over 2,000 invoices with contracts) and officers worked with the individuals who requested items to provide responses.
The council welcomes transparency and the right of members of the public to audit local authority accounts, and furthermore believe that this right should be in addition to the powers that the Audit Commission had before it was abolished by the Government.
While the report does raise issues which the council will examine (and in some cases has already done so) we have not seen any evidence to support the allegation of “extensive financial mismanagement”. The final document contains suggestions, assertions and straightforward errors which, taken together, give a sensational but inaccurate account of Lambeth’s finances.
We have produced a comprehensive response to the points raised in the People’s Audit report.
View the People’s Audit response.