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On 10 March 2014 the government launched the consultation on a draft transparency code for parish councils with a turnover not exceeding £25,000.
The purpose of this consultation was to gauge the views of organisations affected by the proposed code, and any other parties with an interest in local audit and transparency.
The consultation closed on 9 May 2014. This document summarises the comments received and sets out the government’s response.
The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 received Royal Assent on 30 January 2014. The Act sets out a new audit framework for local public authorities which are currently covered by the Audit Commission regime. Under this new framework, smaller authorities with an annual turnover not exceeding £25,000, including parish councils, will be exempt from routine external audit. Instead, these parish councils will be subject to the new transparency requirements laid out in the draft Code included in this consultation document.
This consultation asks questions on the content and application of a draft audit-substitute transparency code for parish councils. Specifically, the consultation requests feedback on:
- whether the code should be mandatory for parish councils with an annual turnover not exceeding £25,000
- whether parish meeting should be exempt from complying with the code
- whether authorities should publish the required information online
- how much additional staff time and cost will be involved for authorities in publishing the required data online
The government response to the previous consultation on the proposed local audit regulations associated with the Local Audit and Accountability Bill was published on 10 March 2014.