I was delighted to hear about the soon demise of the Audit Commission.
I’m saddened for those honest hard working public servants who will be without jobs but the organisation itself really didn’t deserve to survive.
My experiences of the Audit Commission was worse than that of a monopoly supplier. You had to use them for external audits of local authorities. They publicly decide how to rank you so you need to stay on their good side. Any complaints they were judge and jury.They decide the pricing. Every year they increased their pricing but spinned it cleverly. They refused to share project plans. I tried resorting to a FOI for the project plan but the response said it wouldn’t be in the public interest to share it!
One laughable problem was how to treat particular assets. Audit Commission didn’t like the way Southwark did one part. So Southwark every year for three years had to pay for the foremost expert to explain to the audit Commission the rules he’d created.
Thankfully Southwark Council will be able to use proper external auditors. Professional organisations that deliver to a stated plan and is able to stick to it. This really can’t come soon enough. This year Southwark’s most senior managers will be discussing fine details of the last financial year until 9 months into the new financial year due to the slowness of the Audit Commission. With a private auditor you’d expect around 3 months not 9.