Audit Commission to be mutualised?

By David Bicknell

According to an article on the Guardian’s Public Leaders Network, the Audit Commission may be mutualised.

The article suggests that the Communities and  Local Government department has yet to decide on the direction of the commission once it is scrapped. but some experts believe that making the local government watchdog into a competitive mutual should be the preferred option for dealing with local government audits. Others, however, think a mutualised commission could fail to compete against the private sector.

“There are advantages in mutualisation,” says Olivier Roth, a researcher at the New Local Government Network thinktank. “The Audit Commission has contacts with every single local authority and with the comprehensive performance and area assessments, its has experience with audit regimes. It currently audits 70% of local authorities and already has a gigantic market share.”

Recent interviews carried out by the NLGN of senior managers and employees at the Audit Commission, including managing director, Gareth Davies, found broad support for mutualisation.

Other options include selling off the commission as a whole or in parts to private companies.

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