Inspection of Accounts

National legislation — the Local Audit and Accountability Act (2014) and the Accounts and Audit Regulations (2015) — gives registered voters the right to inspect their local authority’s accounts, ask questions about them and object to them, during a period of 30 working days every year.

A number of Lambeth residents have exercised this right last year.

During the 2018/19 Inspection of Accounts the council handled 15 requests for information and provided large volumes of data to requestors. Council officers spent 104 hours responding to requests, collating data and providing information. A report on the public Inspection was presented to Corporate Committee on 25 July 2019 and can be found by visiting the agenda draft and minutes

As in previous years, there has been ongoing correspondence between residents who requested information under the Inspection of Accounts regulations, and the council’s external auditors. The council cannot publish this information; as we are not the owners of the data, this would be in breach of the Data Protection Act. However an outline of correspondence is available.

Residents raised a total of 4 objections to the accounts with the External Auditors, Mazars. In addition to the inquiries relating to the public Inspection of Accounts, the council has also responded to a number of Freedom of Information (FoI) requests relating to the annual accounts, audits and other key projects.

The council’s Freedom of Information requests can be viewed online. This “disclosure log” is a database of all our responses to previous FOI requests, including several that have been the subject of public debate.

The requests for information under the public inspection period this year is summarised in the attached document.

The majority of the requests received during the inspection of accounts period broadly covered the following areas: