Local public bodies deliver many public services to taxpayers. In 2019-20, local authorities, local police and local fire bodies in England spent nearly £100 billion delivering these services. Each year, local public bodies are required to prepare and publish financial statements setting out their financial performance. External auditors of councils audit the financial statements and provide … Read more
Accountability in local service delivery
As part of central government's decision to give more power to Councils and other local bodies (eg in healthcare), local organisations now decide how to spend hundreds of billion each year. Parliament and the public expect this spending to be efficient and effective and achieve the intended aims. Central government sets these aims, while local organisations decide how to spend the funding based on local needs and priorities. The public must be told how the money is spent and what outcomes have been achieved so that local electorates can be sure the money is spent well and can question decisions.
Central government must also be sure that the spending is achieving the desired outcomes and value for money. It is also responsible for protecting customers and making sure that where services fail, customers can get redress, including from local government and health Ombudsmen.
Key NAO publications:
This study will examine how effectively central government and local government are working together on net zero.
This report examines the government’s replacement of the COMPASS contracts for accommodation and support for asylum seekers.
3 Jul 2020
This investigation sets out how MHCLG is overseeing the remediation of dangerous cladding under its Building Safety Programme.
19 Jun 2020
The number of NHS and local government bodies with weaknesses in their arrangements for delivering value for money is increasing.
10 Jan 2019
For combined authorities to deliver real progress they will need to demonstrate that they can drive economic growth and contribute to public sector reform.
6 Jul 2017
The incentives on government Accounting Officers to prioritise value for money are weak compared to those associated with the day-to-day job of satisfying Ministers.
23 Feb 2016
Over 10 million people who used public services (about 1 in 5) in the UK last year faced problems with the services. Detriment can and does occur. But users find the complaints and redress systems confusing.
17 Jun 2015
The Department for Education is not meeting its objectives to improve the quality of care and the stability of placements for children in care.
27 Nov 2014
The Better Care Fund is an innovative idea but the quality of early preparation and planning did not match the scale of the ambition. Current plans forecast £314m of savings for the NHS rather than the £1 billion in early planning assumptions.
11 Nov 2014