The Audit Commission yesterday (December 15) published its annual ‘Auditing the Accounts’ report for 2010/11. This report examines the quality and timeliness of financial reporting by councils and local government bodies across the UK. It also cites individual bodies who have excelled in the accuracy and timeliness of the delivery of their Final Accounts.
Of the 356 councils surveyed, Oldham Council is named (alongside Kent County Council) as the fastest in the country with its accounts for 2010/11 having been fully audited and published on July 29th this year. This result is the product of work by the Local Authority’s Finance team.
Councillor Abdul Jabbar, Cabinet Member for Finance and Human Resources, said, “This is fantastic recognition from the Audit Commission and, it’s not just important for Oldham Council, it’s also good news for all our Council Taxpayers. Given the scale of the financial challenges that all Local Authorities are now facing we recognise that it is absolutely crucial to be on the front foot with our accounts.To be one of the councils named and congratulated by the Audit Commission here is an achievement which shows that Oldham Council’s stewardship of public money is highly effective.”
He went on to say, “It is vital to have robust governance and procedures, and reliable financial data, because it leads to greater confidence and accuracy in our forward financial planning, and really helps us to deliver better value for public money. Quick and accurate closure of the accounts also frees up staff time to concentrate on the budget challenges for 2012/3 and beyond.”
Finally Councillor Jabbar said, “I’d like to pay tribute to our Finance team for their outstanding commitment to excellence and continual improvement. This ‘beacon’ level of financial effectiveness and prudence means Oldham Council is superbly placed to meet the future budget challenges within the public sector.”
This annual report is available on the Audit Commission website at www.audit-commission.gov.uk