Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has today announced that Sir David Williams has been appointed to the Audit Commission Board, as the Government presses ahead with the disbandment of the Commission and transferring the work of its audit practice to private firms. Options are being considered for this transfer, that include the possibility of a bid from an in-house mutual.
Sir David joins as the Liberal Democrat representative on the Board and brings considerable knowledge and experience which should assist the Commission during this period of change.
Eric Pickles the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government said:
I am pleased to announce the appointment of Sir David Williams. He brings significant practical public sector knowledge to the Board. His previous experience of the Audit Commission will assist them through this period of change.
The Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced in August 2010 plans to disband the Commission and refocus audit on helping local people hold councils and local public bodies to account for local spending decisions.
Subject to Parliament enacting the necessary legislation, local audits will be regulated within a statutory framework overseen by the National Audit Office and the profession. Councils will appoint their own independent external auditors and there will be new audit arrangements for local health bodies.
The work of the Audit Commission’s in-house audit practice, which is the fifth largest audit practice in the country, will be transferred out of public ownership after 2012.
Notes to editors
Sir David Williams has been a member for Richmond Upon Thames since 1974, and was Leader of the Council from 1983 to 2001. Sir David served as Chair to the Local Government Association between 1996 to 2001, and sat on the Audit Commission Board from 1997 to 2003.
The appointments and extension will cover the period from 11 July 2011 to 31 December 2012. The Commissioners will be paid £14,358 per annum based on a time commitment of 3 days per month.
DCLG launched a consultation on the Future of Local Audit on 30 March: www.communities.gov.uk/publications/localgovernment/localpublicauditconsult.
The consultation period closed on Thursday 30 June and we are currently analysing responses received. Following consideration of responses to consultation, we will publish our proposals in a draft bill to allow full Parliamentary scrutiny. A final bill will then be introduced as soon as Parliamentary time allows.
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