Impacts case study
Accountability to Parliament for the use of public funds by local bodies has been a central issue in much of our work and we have had real influence through pointing out risks to proper accountability and advising on systems that work in practice.
What are impacts?
Following our work in this area the government committed to reviewing the accountability arrangements for Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and how accountability would support the achievement of the objectives of the Local Growth Fund. We worked with the Department for Communities and Local Government, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Cabinet Office through their drafting of an accountability system statement, the assurance framework, and the monitoring and evaluation framework, which is still in development (at the time of writing). We highlighted risks from a lack of transparency, independent monitoring and scrutiny within the frameworks. We recommended a clearer explanation of the role of the accountable local authority, and questioned the reliance on democratic accountability when LEPs have majority private sector membership and are chaired by the private sector. The departments responded positively to our suggestions, leading them to consult more widely on how accountability arrangements could be made more effective and put in place a more robust system.