Chwilio Deddfwriaeth

Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004

Public inspection etc and action by auditor

Section 29: Inspection of statements of accounts and auditors' reports

76.This section prescribes arrangements for local government electors' access to any statement of accounts of a local government body in Wales. The same access rights apply to any auditor’s report on a local government body in Wales (apart from an immediate public interest report made under section 22(3), for which separate arrangements are made by section 27). A person who has custody of any such document and obstructs exercise of the statutory access rights is guilty of an offence.

Section 30: Inspection of documents and questions at audit

77.This section prescribes arrangements to enable interested persons to inspect or make copies of documents relating to the accounts at an audit of a local government body in Wales. The requirement that a person can only do so if they are "interested" means that a body can require a person wishing to exercise this right of access to show that he or she has a legitimate interest in the accounts of that body. This provision is intended to protect local government bodies from "nuisance" requests. It also gives a local government elector or his representative the right to question the auditor about the accounts. The section does not, however, entitle a person to obtain personal information relating to an individual. The section defines "personal information" in a way which is potentially wider than "personal data" under the Data Protection Act 1998.

Section 31: Right to make objections at audit

78.This section confers a right on a local government elector for the relevant area to raise objections about the accounts of a local government body in Wales with the auditor. Written notice of the proposed objection and the grounds on which it is to be made must be given to the auditor and the body in question.

Section 32: Declaration that an item of account is unlawful

79.This section provides that an auditor may apply to the court for a declaration that an item of account is unlawful and sets out the orders which the court can make. It also confers certain procedural rights on local government electors who have raised relevant objections, in the proper manner, under section 31 and imposes duties on the auditor which facilitate the exercise of those rights.

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