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Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014

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Section 24

SCHEDULE 7E+WReports and recommendations

This schedule has no associated Explanatory Notes

Public interest reportsE+W

1(1)A local auditor of the accounts of a relevant authority must consider whether, in the public interest, the auditor should make a report on any matter coming to the auditor's notice during the audit and relating to the authority or an entity connected with the authority, so it can be considered in accordance with this Schedule or brought to the public's attention.E+W

(2)A report under sub-paragraph (1) is referred to in this Act as a public interest report.

(3)A public interest report may be made during or after the end of an audit.

(4)A local auditor must notify a relevant authority's auditor panel (if it has one) as soon as is reasonably practicable after making a public interest report relating to the authority or an entity connected with it.

(5)A local auditor may recover from a relevant authority—

(a)the reasonable costs of determining whether to make a public interest report relating to the authority or an entity connected with it, and

(b)the reasonable costs of making a public interest report relating to the authority or an entity connected with it.

(6)Sub-paragraph (5)(a) applies regardless of whether the report is in fact made.

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Commencement Information

I1Sch. 7 para. 1 in force at 1.4.2015 by S.I. 2015/841, art. 3(p) (with Sch. para. 1) (as amended (27.6.2016) by S.I. 2016/675, art. 2)

Written recommendationsE+W

2(1)A local auditor of the accounts of a relevant authority may make a written recommendation to the authority relating to the authority or an entity connected with it, so that the recommendation can be considered under this Schedule.E+W

(2)A recommendation may be made during or at the end of an audit.

(3)A recommendation must be sent at the time it is made—

(a)to the Secretary of State,

(b)where the recommendation relates to an entity connected with the relevant authority, to that entity and to any other relevant authority with which the entity is connected,

(c)where the relevant authority is itself a connected entity, to its related authority or authorities,

(d)where the relevant authority is a clinical commissioning group, to the National Health Service Commissioning Board, and

(e)where the relevant authority is—

(i)a functional body,

(ii)an entity connected with a functional body, or

(iii)the London Pensions Fund Authority,

to the Greater London Authority.

(4)A local auditor may recover from a relevant authority—

(a)the reasonable costs of determining whether to make a recommendation relating to the authority or an entity connected with it, and

(b)the reasonable costs of making a recommendation relating to the authority or an entity connected with it.

(5)Sub-paragraph (4)(a) applies regardless of whether the recommendation is in fact made.

(6)In this Act “related authority”, in relation to a connected entity, means the relevant authority with which the entity is connected.

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Commencement Information

I2Sch. 7 para. 2 in force at 1.4.2015 by S.I. 2015/841, art. 3(p) (with Sch. para. 1) (as amended (27.6.2016) by S.I. 2016/675, art. 2)

Supply of public interest reportsE+W

3(1)If a local auditor makes a public interest report arising out of the audit of the accounts of a relevant authority, the auditor must send the report to—E+W

(a)the authority, and

(b)where the report relates to an entity connected with the authority, to that entity and to any other relevant authority with which the entity is connected.

(2)The local auditor must also send the report—

(a)to the Secretary of State,

(b)where the relevant authority is itself a connected entity, to its related authority or authorities,

(c)where the relevant authority is a clinical commissioning group, to the National Health Service Commissioning Board, and

(d)where the relevant authority is—

(i)a functional body,

(ii)an entity connected with a functional body, or

(iii)the London Pensions Fund Authority,

to the Greater London Authority.

(3)A report required to be sent under sub-paragraph (1) or (2) must be sent as soon as is reasonably practicable after it is made.

(4)If a relevant authority to which a report is sent under this paragraph is a health service body, it must take the report into consideration as soon as is reasonably practicable after receiving it.

(5)If paragraph 5 applies to a relevant authority to which a report is sent under this paragraph, it must, if required by that paragraph to do so, take the report into consideration in accordance with that paragraph.

(6)If a relevant authority to which a report is sent under this paragraph is the Greater London Authority, it must, if required by that paragraph to do so, take the report into consideration in accordance with paragraph 6.

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Commencement Information

I3Sch. 7 para. 3 in force at 1.4.2015 by S.I. 2015/841, art. 3(p) (with Sch. para. 1) (as amended (27.6.2016) by S.I. 2016/675, art. 2)

Publicity for public interest reportsE+W

4(1)This paragraph applies to a relevant authority if a local auditor has made a public interest report relating to the authority or an entity connected with it.E+W

(2)As soon as is practicable after receiving the report, the relevant authority must publish the report and a notice that—

(a)identifies the subject matter of the report, and

(b)unless the authority is a health service body, states that any member of the public may inspect the report and make a copy of it or any part of it between the times and at the place or places specified in the notice.

(3)As soon as is practicable after receiving the report, the relevant authority must supply a copy of the report to—

(a)each of its members (if it has members), and

(b)its auditor panel (if it has one).

(4)Sub-paragraph (3)(a) does not apply in relation to a parish meeting.

(5)From the time when the report is received, the relevant authority, unless it is a health service body, must ensure that any member of the public may—

(a)inspect the report at all reasonable times without payment,

(b)make a copy of it, or any part of it, and

(c)be supplied with a copy of it, or any part of it, on payment of a reasonable sum.

(6)The local auditor may—

(a)notify any person the auditor thinks fit of the fact that the auditor has made the report, and

(b)supply a copy of it or any part of it to any person the auditor thinks fit.

(7)A notice or report required to be published under this paragraph must be published—

(a)if the authority has a website, on its website;

(b)otherwise, in accordance with sub-paragraph (8).

(8)A relevant authority publishes a notice or report in accordance with this sub-paragraph if—

(a)in the case of an authority other than a health service body, it publishes the notice or report in such manner as it thinks is likely to bring the notice or report to the attention of persons who live in its area;

(b)in the case of a clinical commissioning group, it publishes the notice or report in such manner as it thinks is likely to bring the notice or report to the attention of—

(i)persons who live in the area of the group, and

(ii)persons who do not live in the area of the group but for whom the group is responsible;

(c)in the case of special trustees for a hospital, they publish the notice or report in such manner as they think is likely to bring the notice to the attention of persons to whom services are provided at that hospital.

(9)Nothing in this paragraph affects the operation of paragraph 9.

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Commencement Information

I4Sch. 7 para. 4 in force at 1.4.2015 by S.I. 2015/841, art. 3(p) (with Sch. para. 1) (as amended (27.6.2016) by S.I. 2016/675, art. 2)

Consideration of report or recommendationE+W

5(1)Subject to sub-paragraphs (2) and (4), this paragraph applies to a relevant authority if—E+W

(a)a local auditor has made a public interest report relating to the authority or an entity connected with it, or

(b)a local auditor has made a recommendation relating to the authority or an entity connected with it.

(2)This paragraph does not apply to a relevant authority which is itself a connected entity, subject to sub-paragraph (3).

(3)This paragraph applies to the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime where a local auditor has made a report or recommendation relating to the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis regardless of whether the Office is a connected entity or was such an entity at the time to which the report or recommendation relates.

(4)This paragraph does not apply to—

(a)the Greater London Authority (but see paragraph 6), and

(b)health service bodies.

(5)The relevant authority must consider the report or recommendation at a meeting held before the end of the period of one month beginning with the day on which it was sent to the authority.

(6)At that meeting the relevant authority must decide—

(a)whether the report requires the authority to take any action or whether the recommendation is to be accepted, and

(b)what, if any, action to take in response to the report or recommendation.

(7)Where the relevant authority is a police and crime commissioner or the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime, the authority must, before the end of the period of one month beginning with the day on which the report or recommendation was sent to the authority, decide—

(a)whether the report requires the authority to take any action or whether the recommendation is to be accepted, and

(b)what, if any, action to take in response to the report or recommendation.

(8)If the local auditor is satisfied that it is reasonable to allow more time for the relevant authority to comply with sub-paragraph (5) or (7), the auditor may extend or further extend the period of one month mentioned in that sub-paragraph.

(9)This paragraph does not affect any duties (so far as they relate to the subject-matter of a report or recommendation sent to a relevant authority) which are imposed by or under—

(a)this Act,

(b)sections 114 to 116 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (functions and reports of finance officers),

(c)section 5 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (functions of monitoring officers), or

(d)any other enactment.

(10)The Secretary of State may by regulations provide for this paragraph to apply with modifications in relation to a relevant authority specified, or of a description specified, in the regulations.

(11)The Secretary of State may by regulations provide for any provisions of the following that do not otherwise apply to a meeting of a relevant authority under this paragraph to apply (with or without modifications) to such a meeting—

(a)the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960;

(b)Part 5A of the Local Government Act 1972 (access to meetings and documents);

(c)Schedule 12 to that Act (meetings and proceedings of local authorities).

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Modifications etc. (not altering text)

Commencement Information

I5Sch. 7 para. 5 in force at 4.4.2014 for specified purposes by S.I. 2014/900, art. 2(k)

I6Sch. 7 para. 5 in force at 1.4.2015 in so far as not already in force by S.I. 2015/841, art. 3(p) (with Sch. para. 1) (as amended (27.6.2016) by S.I. 2016/675, art. 2)

Consideration of report or recommendation: Greater London AuthorityE+W

6(1)This paragraph applies if—E+W

(a)a local auditor has made a public interest report relating to the Greater London Authority (“the Authority”) or an entity connected with it, or

(b)a local auditor has made a recommendation relating to the Authority or an entity connected with it.

(2)This paragraph does not apply where a local auditor has made a report or recommendation relating to the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis regardless of whether the Commissioner is connected with the Authority or was so connected at the time to which the report or recommendation relates.

(3)The London Assembly (“the Assembly”) must consider the report or recommendation at a meeting.

(4)The Mayor of London (“the Mayor”) must attend the meeting.

(5)At the meeting, the Assembly must decide what recommendations to make to the Mayor about the decisions to be made under sub-paragraph (6).

(6)Having considered the report or recommendation, and the Assembly's recommendations under sub-paragraph (5), the Mayor must decide—

(a)whether the report requires the Authority to take any action or whether the recommendation is to be accepted, and

(b)what, if any, action to take in response to the report or recommendation.

(7)The Mayor and the Assembly must comply with sub-paragraphs (3) to (6) before the end of the period of one month beginning with the day on which the report or recommendation was sent to the Authority.

(8)If the local auditor is satisfied that it is reasonable to allow more time for the Mayor or the Assembly to comply with sub-paragraphs (3) to (6), the auditor may extend or further extend the period of one month mentioned in sub-paragraph (7).

(9)This paragraph does not affect any duties (so far as they relate to the subject-matter of a report or recommendation sent to the Authority) which are imposed by or under—

(a)this Act,

(b)sections 114 to 116 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 (functions and reports of finance officers),

(c)section 5 of the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 (functions of monitoring officers), or

(d)any other enactment.

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Commencement Information

I7Sch. 7 para. 6 in force at 1.4.2015 by S.I. 2015/841, art. 3(p) (with Sch. para. 1) (as amended (27.6.2016) by S.I. 2016/675, art. 2)

Bar on delegation of functions relating to meetingsE+W

7(1)If a relevant authority is a local authority operating executive arrangements, the authority's functions under paragraph 5 are not the responsibility of an executive of the authority under those arrangements.E+W

(2)If a relevant authority is a local authority within the meaning of section 101 of the Local Government Act 1972 (arrangements for discharge of functions), that section does not apply to its functions under paragraph 5.

(3)The functions of a parish meeting under paragraph 5 are to be exercised by the parish meeting itself (and not by its chairman on behalf of the parish meeting).

(4)Any functions of the Mayor of London under paragraph 6 must be exercised by the Mayor personally.

(5)Section 54 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999 (discharge of London Assembly functions by committees etc) does not apply in relation to any function of the London Assembly under paragraph 6.

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Commencement Information

I8Sch. 7 para. 7 in force at 1.4.2015 by S.I. 2015/841, art. 3(p) (with Sch. para. 1) (as amended (27.6.2016) by S.I. 2016/675, art. 2)

Publicity for meetingsE+W

8(1)If a relevant authority is required to hold a meeting under paragraph 5, it must publish a notice in compliance with sub-paragraphs (2) to (4).E+W

(2)The notice must be published—

(a)if the relevant authority has a website, on its website;

(b)otherwise, in such manner as the authority thinks is likely to bring the notice to the attention of persons who live in its area.

(3)The notice must—

(a)state the time and place of the meeting,

(b)indicate that the meeting is to be held to consider a local auditor's report or recommendation (as the case may be),

(c)if the meeting is to be held to consider a report, describe the subject matter of the report, and

(d)if the meeting is to be held to consider a recommendation, set out the recommendation or, where this is not reasonably practicable, describe its subject matter.

(4)The notice must be published before the beginning of the period of 8 days ending with the day of the meeting.

(5)The agenda supplied to the members of the relevant authority for the meeting must be accompanied by a copy of the report or recommendation (as the case may be).

(6)Sub-paragraph (5) does not apply in relation to a parish meeting.

(7)If the London Assembly is required to hold a meeting under paragraph 6, the Greater London Authority must publish on its website a notice in compliance with sub-paragraphs (3) and (4).

(8)The agenda supplied to the members of the London Assembly for the meeting must be accompanied by a copy of the report or recommendation (as the case may be).

(9)This paragraph applies in addition to any provision made in relation to the relevant authority in question by or under the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960, the Local Government Act 1972 or any other enactment.

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Commencement Information

I9Sch. 7 para. 8 in force at 1.4.2015 by S.I. 2015/841, art. 3(p) (with Sch. para. 1) (as amended (27.6.2016) by S.I. 2016/675, art. 2)

Access to meetings and documentsE+W

9(1)Where a public interest report or a recommendation is to be considered under paragraph 5 by a relevant authority to which the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 applies, the report or recommendation is not to be excluded from the matter supplied under section 1(4)(b) of that Act (supply of agenda etc to newspapers).E+W

(2)Part 5A (access to meetings and documents) of the Local Government Act 1972 applies to a meeting of the London Pensions Fund Authority under paragraph 5 as if the Authority were a principal council.

(3)Sub-paragraphs (4) to (6) apply in relation to the consideration under paragraph 5 or 6 of a public interest report or a recommendation by a relevant authority to which Part 5A (access to meetings and documents) of the Local Government Act 1972 applies.

(4)Information contained in the report or recommendation is not to be treated as exempt information for the purposes of that Part.

(5)The report or recommendation is not to be excluded—

(a)from the documents open to inspection under section 100B(1) of that Act (public access to agenda and reports before meetings), or

(b)from the matter supplied under section 100B(7) of that Act (supply of agenda etc to newspapers).

(6)Part 5A of the Local Government Act 1972 has effect in relation to the report or recommendation as if section 100C(1)(d) of that Act (public access to copies of reports for six years after meeting) were not limited to so much of the report or recommendation as relates to an item during which the meeting was open to the public.

(7)Information contained in a public interest report or a recommendation is not to be treated as exempt information for the purposes of any Act or instrument made under an Act that applies in relation to exempt information within the meaning of Part 5A of the Local Government Act 1972.

(8)References in this paragraph to a public interest report or a recommendation include any report on the report or recommendation.

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Commencement Information

I10Sch. 7 para. 9 in force at 1.4.2015 by S.I. 2015/841, art. 3(p) (with Sch. para. 1) (as amended (27.6.2016) by S.I. 2016/675, art. 2)

Publicity for decisions under paragraph 5 or 6E+W

10(1)As soon as is practicable after making decisions under paragraph 5(6) or (7) or 6(6), a relevant authority must—E+W

(a)notify the authority's local auditor of those decisions, and

(b)publish a notice containing a summary of those decisions which has been approved by the auditor.

(2)The notice under sub-paragraph (1)(b) must be published—

(a)if the relevant authority has a website, on its website;

(b)otherwise, in such manner as the authority thinks is likely to bring the notice to the attention of persons who live in its area.

(3)The notice required by sub-paragraph (1)(b) in relation to a meeting need not summarise any decision made while the public were excluded from the meeting—

(a)as the result of a resolution under section 1(2) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960 (protection of public interest),

(b)under section 100A(2) of the Local Government Act 1972 (confidential matters), or

(c)as the result of a resolution under section 100A(4) of that Act (exempt information).

(4)If sections 100C and 100D of the Local Government Act 1972 (availability for inspection after meetings of minutes etc) apply in relation to a meeting under paragraph 5 or 6, the notice required by sub-paragraph (1)(b) must indicate the documents in relation to the meeting that are open for inspection in accordance with those paragraphs.

(5)This paragraph applies in addition to any provision made in relation to the relevant authority by or under the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960, the Local Government Act 1972 or any other enactment.

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Commencement Information

I11Sch. 7 para. 10 in force at 1.4.2015 by S.I. 2015/841, art. 3(p) (with Sch. para. 1) (as amended (27.6.2016) by S.I. 2016/675, art. 2)

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