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Transparency

The document Transparency code for smaller authorities available from the gov.uk site details the new (2014–15) regulations detailing the information that parish councils should make publicly available by posting to a web site. This page summaries the information and gives pointers to all the relevant files which are available on this website.

For a Parish Council such as Souldern's, the main requirements are set out in section 10 of the above document, which contains the following list:

Smaller authorities should publish:

  1. all items of expenditure above £100, (2015-16) (2014–15)
  2. end of year accounts, (2015-16) (2014–15)
  3. annual governance statement, (2015-16) (2014–2015)
  4. internal audit report, (2016-16) (2014–15)
  5. list of councillor or member responsibilities, and
  6. the details of public land and building assets,
  7. Minutes, agendas and meeting papers of formal meetings.

The introduction to the Transparency code gives background to the new rules, explaining that the information is made available to give you a chance to scrutinize the council activities, replacing the previous requirement for an external audit of the accounts. The following list is quoted from the code:

  1. This Code is issued to meet the Government’s desire to place more power into citizens’ hands to increase democratic accountability. Transparency gives local people the tools and information they need to hold local public bodies to account.
  2. The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 sets out a new audit framework for local public authorities which are currently covered by the Audit Commission regime. Under the new audit framework smaller authorities, including parish councils, […], with an annual turnover not exceeding £25,000 will be exempt from routine external audit. In place of routine audit, these smaller authorities will be subject to the new transparency requirements laid out in this Code. This will enable local electors and ratepayers to access relevant information about the authorities’ accounts and governance.
  3. The Government considers that publication of the items in this Code will provide the local electorate and ratepayers with a clear picture of the activities of these smaller authorities[…]