• 'Critical' to maintain progress, Dundee told

    30 November 2023

    A finance watchdog has said Dundee City Council is ‘well-run’ but ‘long-standing difficulties remain’ to be tackled in its improvement journey.

  • MPs press Government to resolve audit crisis

    24 November 2023

    The Government should show more urgency in tackling the local audit crisis, a committee of MPs has said.

  • A call for clarity on Oflog

    20 November 2023

    The Office for Local Government has sparked a flurry of passionate views within the sector. Stuart Hoddinott calls for clarity over how it will balance a more interventionist approach alongside a role as a ‘good faith convenor’ of councils.

  • Moving in to pick up the pieces

    15 November 2023

    Gavin Jones talks to Heather Jameson about the work that goes into sorting out the aftermath of a s114 notice.

  • Don't call it a comeback

    14 November 2023

    Dan Peters talks to Cllr Rowenna Davis and Mayor Jason Perry about Croydon LBC's improvement journey, and how, in spite of positive signs, there is still much work to do.

  • EXCLUSIVE: Oflog pushes ahead with early warning system

    13 November 2023

    Senior Oflog officials are pressing ahead with their plans to create an early warning system for councils in trouble despite continuing Local Government Association (LGA) resistance, The MJ understands.

  • Chancellor urged to tackle audit backlog

    06 November 2023

    The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has called on the Government to ‘tackle the crisis’ in local authority financial reporting and audit.

  • ‘Lack of progress’ in South Ayrshire transformation

    01 November 2023

    South Ayrshire Council has been told it must quicken the pace of its transformation in a report by the Accounts Commission.

  • Rebuilding audit

    30 October 2023

    Local government minister Lee Rowley sets out more details on proposals to clear the serious external audit backlog and ensure a focus on current rather than historical assurance.

  • New assurance regime needs to be ‘far more useful’

    18 October 2023

    According to the results of the Solace survey, no one thinks Oflog does the job and most think it should be scrapped, says Heather Jameson. 'When it comes to what would work, there is a clear answer. Make audit better', she adds.

  • Chiefs split on need for improved assurance but united in Oflog discontent

    17 October 2023

    Senior council officers are split on whether improved assurance measures are needed but broadly agree Oflog will fail to improve performance or warn of failure.

  • A Bill to drive innovation and local accountability

    12 October 2023

    With the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill going through its final parliamentary stages, Tiffany Cloynes and Rebecca Gilbert look at some of the changes it would bring in.

  • Newcastle chief admits corporate plan delay

    03 October 2023

    Newcastle City Council’s chief executive has told local spending watchdogs the authority’s overdue corporate plan ‘needs refreshing’.

  • Missions budgeting in a challenging funding context

    27 September 2023

    Public sector recovery and renewal, with limited fiscal headroom to fund more than stabilisation, will need consistency of purpose over time, and a funding and budgeting approach that supports this, says Jon Rowney.

  • Home to roost

    26 September 2023

    The challenges faced by councils in financial crisis stem from Government action since 2010 and many authorities are flying blind to problems because of the local audit backlog, say Clive Betts and Meg Hillier.

  • Ministers turn down Tandridge capitalisation bid

    22 September 2023

    Ministers have refused requests for a capitalisation direction at Tandridge DC as they said efforts to bolster the council’s finances were working.

  • Five steps to avoiding s114

    18 September 2023

    Tiffany Cloynes looks at the current landscape in relation to section 114 notices and sets out five key areas which could be addressed to help avoid the risk of them arising in the future.

  • Woking entered s114 territory in 2018

    13 September 2023

    Woking BC may have faced a section 114 notice at least four years before it declared effective bankruptcy, senior councillors have been told.

  • Audit’s governance challenge

    11 September 2023

    Gary Fielding hopes the Government’s proposed changes to the external audit regime are seen as the first step in getting to grips with firms and their role in ensuring good governance.

  • Plymouth reaches impasse with auditor

    30 August 2023

    Auditors could issue a qualified opinion on Plymouth City Council’s accounts after questioning its methods to pay off a multi-million pound pension deficit.