Statement of responsibilities of auditors and audited bodies: Principal Local Authorities and Police Bodies

Specific powers and duties of auditors

40. Auditors have specific powers and duties under the Act in relation to matters of legality.

41. Auditors undertake the following in relation to these duties:

  • consider whether to issue a public interest report concerning any matter that comes to the auditor’s attention during the course of the audit, which they judge should be considered by the audited body or brought to public attention (Schedule 7 of the Act);
  • give electors the opportunity to raise questions about a local authority’s accounts, and consider and decide upon objections received from electors in relation to the accounts (sections 26 and 27 of the Act);
  • consider whether the audited body should consider formally, and respond to in public, recommendations made in an audit report (Schedule 7 of the Act);
  • to issue an advisory notice or to apply to the court for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful (sections 28 and 29 of the Act), if they have reason to believe that unlawful expenditure has been or is about to be incurred by an audited body; and
  • apply for judicial review with respect to a decision of an audited body or a failure of an audited body to act, which it is reasonable to believe would have an effect on the accounts of that body (section 31 of the Act).

42. Fees arising in connection with auditors’ exercise of these powers and duties, including costs relating to the appointment of legal or other advisers to the auditors, are borne by the audited body.

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