Announcement

Changes to Audit Commission board announced

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Local Government Minister Bob Neill announced reappointments to the Board of the Audit Commission today, as part of plans to move its audit …

Local Government Minister Bob Neill announced reappointments to the Board of the Audit Commission today, as part of plans to move its audit functions into the private sector.

Lord Adebowale of Thornes and Bharat Shah have both agreed to continue to serve on the Board until the end of 2012.

In addition to these reappointments, further Commissioners will be recruited to the Board, by open competition, to bring in new private sector expertise as the Commission focuses on its new challenges. An advert for the available posts will be posted on the Public Appointments website shortly.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced in August plans to disband the Commission after 2012 and refocus audit on helping local people hold councils and local public bodies to account for local spending decisions.

The Audit Commission’s in-house audit practice, which is the fifth largest audit practice in the country, is to be transferred out of public ownership after 2012. Over the next year a range of options will be developed for converting the audit practice into a business independent of Government which could be sold or otherwise transferred into the private sector.

Mr Pickles thanked Dame Denise Platt, Dr Raj Rajagopal, and Jenny Watson, whose terms as Commissioners finished in August, for their contributions to the work of the Audit Commission.

Bob Neill said:

I’m pleased to announce that Lord Adebowale and Bharat Shah have both agreed to continue to serve as Commissioners. There will also be some new appointments to the Commission as we make plans to move it into the private sector. These appointments will be by open competition and we are keen to bring in private sector expertise and skills to help with the upcoming transition.

This Department will be working closely with the Audit Commission, the accountancy profession, and the local government and health sectors to develop the detailed design of the new systems.

I would like to thank all departing Commissioners for their contributions to the Audit Commission’s work.

In the future councils will be free to appoint their own independent external auditors from a more competitive and open market; and there will be a new audit framework for local health bodies. This will save council taxpayers’ money and decentralise power.

Notes to editors

Lord Victor Adebowale and Bharat Shah’s reappointments have been made in accordance with the Commissioner for Public Appointments’ Code of Practice for ministerial appointments to public bodies. All appointments are made on merit and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity (if any declared) to be made public.

Bharat Shah’s appointment will cover the period up until 31 December 2012. As Deputy Chair of the Commission’s board, he will be paid £23,931 per annum based on a time commitment of 5 days per month. Bharat Shah does not hold any other Ministerial public appointments. He has declared that he has not engaged in any political activity in the last 5 years.

Lord Adebowale’s appointment will also cover the period up until 31 December 2012. He will be paid £14,358 per annum based on a time commitment of 3 days per month. Lord Adebowale does not hold any other Ministerial public appointments. He has declared that he has not engaged in any political activity in the last 5 years.

Twitter

Keep up to date with the Department by following us on Twitter (external link).

Media enquiries

Visit our newsroom contacts page for media enquiry contact details.