Tag Archives: audit commission

David Boyle writes… The missing explanation of public service failure

The doyen of Liberator magazine, Simon Titley, just sent me through a cutting from the Leicester Mercury which gives us just a glimpse at the reasons why public services became so expensive under New Labour.

The report tells us of the unused regional fire control centre for the East Midlands, standing empty in Castle Donington, but still costing £5,000 a day to run, with burgeoning interest accruing in the PFI contract. It wasn’t just the dream of regional government, or the manifest problems of PFI, that caused the problem here. It was another example of a huge …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 12 Comments

Chris White writes: What do you want for your birthday?

I am fifty tomorrow. Relatives sometimes ask me what I would like for my birthday and I reply with things like ‘ties, jacket, Ipad, North American art…’. The usual.

This year, though, a real treat: a meeting with Eric Pickles. I have already given the standard response to the organisers: ‘You shouldn’t have….It’s what I’ve always wanted…’

They have even arranged for a large posse of other Lib Dem group leaders to join me to make the hour go swimmingly.
Apparently there is no agenda as such. Just an opportunity to put across some messages.

But what, in a single hour?

Clearly we …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 7 Comments

Should someone doing 3 days a month work get £14,358 per year?

Two vacancies on the soon to be abolished Audit Commission have just been advertised, seeking people willing to do 3 days a month work in return for an annual salary of £14,358.

Audit  CommissionThat generous salary for someone helping to head up a body aimed at ensuring value for money might raise eyebrows at any time, but given that the Audit Commission’s audit practice is due to be moved into private hands in two years time it is particularly generous. Because who is going to …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 26 Comments

Opinion: who’ll watch the watchmen when the auditors are away

Have a thought for the Audit Commission. This ‘public spending watchdog’ is not well understood. Its principal function is to be an auditor cum audit regulator. It is also tasked with producing national studies into good practice in local government (and to some extent the NHS). Its more famous, but essentially minor, inspection role – now anyway abolished – was bolted on recently by the dirigiste regime of Blair and Brown.

Three issues now need urgently to be tackled.

First: will communities really benefit from councils being able to appoint their own (private sector) auditors? The private sector already supplies a minority …

Posted in News | 16 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 10 December 2009

Good morning and welcome to Daily View. 10th December is the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death and the first awards of the Nobel Prize in 1901. Today we also sing happy birthday to Emily Dickinson and Ada Lovelace.

The numerical elements of this post break down a little, as you’ll see.

Must-Read Blog Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here are some posts that have caught the eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

OnePlace to rule them all

As we reported yesterday, the Audit Commission launched One Place, a website listing government inspection results of all local authorities. And reviews of their own councils have been exercising some Lib Dem bloggers since the site came back up yesterday afternoon:

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