David Walker is former director of public reporting at the Audit Commission
Telling the whole place story
A Fabian pamphlet calls on Labour to commit to a new Place Audit Office (PAO) within the National Audit Office. John Tizard and David Walker explain
Public audit will soon need a spring clean
John Tizard and David Walker make the case for a new way of auditing how public money is spent that uses evidence before spending decisions are made - and includes a new office of the '3Es' (efficiency, effectiveness and equity).
The contracting conundrum
Time will tell if outsourcing has had its day as a significant money saving option for the sector. John Tizard and David Walker assess the landscape after this week’s elections.
Carillion: Companies can go bust, councils cannot
After the fall of Carillion, and with social care providers on the brink, John Tizard and David Walker demand a reflection on where the last 30 years of competitive tendering has brought us.
First cut is the deepest?
Perverse public perceptions are a problem, writes David Walker as he examines what can be done to get the facts right
Living the dream?
Migration is becoming a local issue more than ever, and as David Walker says, councils need more control of their house to address the situation
The case of the diminishing state
David Walker explains that although public services may be shrinking, they must get smarter
Over-50 shades of grey
David Walker raises the debate over the fiscal sustainability of the growing ageing workforce, and wonders if local authorities can successfully plan ahead for social care provision.
Something to look at?
With the election fresh in the mind, David Walker says the UK can learn lessons from the Swedes in its approach to school inspections, and more specifically, the issue of accountability
Importance of imparting information
‘Town hall Pravdas’? No. Information is the lifeblood of local government and constricting its flow will cause injury and even death, writes David Walker
Time to get real
Councillors must confront residents with the fiscal reality of national spending decisions ahead of this May’s general election, for the sake of local government, argues David Walker.
Gauging the pressures
Even if there is a slackening and the timetables are revised the pressure on spending won’t miraculously lift. What can UK authorities do as they await devolution resolutions, asks David Walker
Respecting the real headline-makers
Despite UKIP’s successes, David Walker assesses the wider challenges ‘protest parties’ would face in government – and the consistent work local government continues to produce in areas that don’t always make the news.
Scottish opportunity or misfortune?
If the Scottish drama is to have consequences for how England’s counties are governed, public opinion has to travel a long way. David Walker looks at the implications of independence
Hit the north
Local government should put its many problems to one side and support the chancellor's enthusiasm for re-developing the North, says David Walker.
The soft underbelly of local government
Austerity government has seen fiscal tightening strengthen the power of central government treasuries across the EU, and the UK is no exception to this pattern, explains David Walker
Hilary Benn's Trojan Horse
The knock-on effects of freezing business rates conceal inherent dangers for local government finances, writes David Walker
You know when you’ve been quango-ed
The Coalition’s ‘bonfire of the quangos’ has produced more smoke than fire, with performance and accountability of public bodies murkier than before, writes David Walker
A drain on resources?
The abolition of the Audit Commission comes with unforeseen consequences, writes David Walker, who explains how Somerset’s flooding crisis is bringing accountability problems to the surface
Stop grovelling and start fighting back
Imagine if, on New Year’s Day, you had woken up to a joint statement by 10 of local government’s finest.