Local services

The NAO’s role in local audit

The National Audit Office (NAO) has responsibilities within the framework for the audit of local public bodies. This leaflet provides information on our role, examples of our recent value-for-money work focused on local services, our 2016-17 work in progress and contact details for you to provide views and suggestions or to ask questions about our work.

NAO scrutinises public spending for Parliament and is independent of both central and local government. Each year we audit the financial statements of all government departments and many other public bodies, and produce around 65 value-for-money reports for Parliament. Our value-for-money studies focus on whether public bodies have used their resources efficiently, effectively, and with economy. Our recommendations and reports on good practice help government improve public services, and our work led to audited savings of £1.21 billion in 2015, equivalent to £19 of financial impact for every £1 the National Audit Office spent.

The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 introduced a new local audit framework in England. Within the new audit framework we prepare and issue the Code of Audit Practice which sets out what local auditors are required to do.

We also carry out value-for-money studies which look at local services. These reports help improve public services by providing a more ‘end to end’ view of the use of public funds from policy through to implementation – helping to inform Parliament while adding value at the local level.

June 2016