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Public Interest Report

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What is a Public Interest Report?

Who requests it and to whom?

When is it published?

Would anyone be open to sharing their experiences of them?

Thank you
by (1.5k points)

2 Answers

0 votes
It is my understanding that this is a facility available to the external auditor. If during an investigation into a given Council they come across something which is so serious and might  affect other or all Councils , then they issue a "public interest" report.  I still find the world of the  external auditor quite confusing but when I mentioned public interest reports to them they said they are "as rare as hens teeth".
by (2.8k points)
The Welsh Audit Office seem to be very fond of them so maybe not so rare there.  Sadly my current council has had one issued but long before my time as a councillor.  As has been said, it is where the external auditor finds something so serious that they issue the report which must be put before the public in a special meeting.  It is a lengthy document detailing all the issues and recommendations for correction and where one is issued, the council cannot claim exemption from external auditor review (i.e. if a small council) for the next two or might be three years.  The reports are also published by the auditor.  I've certainly read some of the recent welsh ones recently and they can be pretty brutal.  They don't just indicate circumstances where fraud might be applicable but mismanagement generally, innocent or deliberate.  It's a pretty serious thing to happen and indicates to your residents that the council is not fit for purpose.
Thank you. In a nutshell its down to the external auditor.
Can I ask can a member of the public raise concerns to the external auditor or should it be to the internal auditor?
Always to the external auditor.  Your council should publish a "notice of electors rights" which sets out how members of the public can view the accounts and supporting documents during a given period each year (which must include the first ten working days of July) and how members of the public can raise concerns to the external auditor.  This notice must be published no later than one day before the period starts .  The period of electors rights runs for a 30 working day period.  Issues are raised directly with the external auditor but a copy must be sent to the council.
Thanks for this. With so much going on ive got brain fog!

Can I ask is there anything in particular that should be raised as a priority? It's a dysfunctional Council and theres so much I'd welcome a starting point.
That's what I mean Sapere Aude , there is no idiots guide as to what to complain about after all what can a set of accounts tell you ? It is however easy to get drawn into something you don't agree with and that's not necessarily improper.   It is interesting to note that the audits are classified as "limited assurance" which puts me off from the start as it indicates a less than comprehensive approach.  The more I deal with my PC the mor\e I realise they pretty much untouchable  but as everyone says its nobody's fault but the Councillors.
Thank you and I fully agree. I was considering reporting on the basis of approving the agar without seeing the internal auditors report and that the box was ticked that everything is tickity boo when it's clearly not. I'll wait for the public notice and chat with the Clerk. I'm more disappointed that our Clerk is highly qualified but appears disinterested,  probably due to Cllr behaviour. What a sh*t show this is.
0 votes
by (380 points)
Thanks very much.
You are welcome:-).  Good luck.  It would be interesting to hear how it goes.
Cheers will do.

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