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Standards for England and Audit Commission sign Memorandum of Understanding

Standards for England has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding with the Audit Commission, which will see the two organisations agreeing to share information on ethical standards in local authorities.

 The Memorandum will allow Standards for England and the Audit Commission to share information with one another where they are of the view this might help either organisation to fulfil its functions. This may include the sharing of reports and findings, as well as information on prior or current involvement with relevant authorities.

 The Audit Commission can also alert Standards for England if it uncovers a potential breach of the Code of Conduct during the course of its work, while Standards for England can share information, gathered as part of an investigation, which may be useful to the Audit Commission - such as evidence relating to financial management or governance.

 Tim Leslie, Director of Regulation at Standards for England, said: “Although Standards for England and the Audit Commission have different remits, we are united by a common goal of ensuring that high standards of conduct in local government are promoted and maintained.

 “The agreement to share information will help us carry out our roles efficiently and effectively. It will increase the likelihood that any concerns held by either organisation can be addressed sooner rather than later, and will also help us to avoid ‘doubling up’ when it comes to gathering some types of information, saving on both time and costs.”

 Gareth Davies, the Commission’s Managing Director of Local Government, says the public are concerned about standards in public life.

 “It helps to ensure a common understanding of the good practice and common issues facing local authorities. This demonstrates our shared goals and commitment to reducing demands on local authorities, while increasing our understanding of what matters.”

 For media enquiries, contact the press office on 0161 817 5400 or email press.enquiries@standardsforengland.gov.uk.

 Notes for editors

Standards for England is a centre of expertise in ethical governance and works with local authorities, monitoring officers and local standards committees to champion and promote high standards of conduct among our local politicians. It also helps local authorities to assess, identify and deal with the most material risks to local democracy, safeguarding local standards and championing accountability in local government partnerships. In order to ensure the success of a fair and proportionate local standards framework, it monitors the standards performance of local authorities, not only to identify and respond to failings in the system, but also to recognise success.

The Audit Commission is an independent watchdog, driving economy, efficiency and effectiveness in local public services to deliver better outcomes for everyone. Its work across local government, health, housing, community safety and fire and rescue services means that it has a unique perspective. It promotes value for money for taxpayers, auditing the £200 billion spent by 11,000 local public bodies.

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