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House of Lords Library

Local Audit (Public Access to Documents) Bill: Briefing for Lords Stages

Published Monday, April 3, 2017

This House of Lords Library briefing provides information in support of the House of Lords second reading of the Local Audit (Public Access to Documents) Bill (HL Bill 115 of 2016–17) on 6 April 2017.

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The Local Audit (Public Access to Documents) Bill is a House of Commons private member’s bill introduced by Wendy Morton (Conservative MP for Aldridge-Brownhills) and sponsored in the House of Lords by Baroness Eaton (Conservative). The Bill has completed all stages in the House of Commons and is scheduled to have its second reading in the House of Lords on 6 April 2017. The Bill is backed by the Government, who have drafted the Explanatory Notes which accompany it.

The Bill seeks to extend public access to certain local audit documents under section 26 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014. The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 established new arrangements for the audit and accountability of local public bodies (as listed in schedule 2 of the Act). At each audit of accounts held under the Act, section 26(1) allows “any persons interested” to inspect the accounting records for the financial year. The Bill seeks to amend section 26(1) to add “or any journalist”.

This briefing provides information on the background to the Bill and an overview of its purpose. It also provides a brief summary of its passage through the House of Commons.

Lords In Focus LIF-2017-0030

Author: Charley Coleman

Topics: Local government, Public administration

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House of Lords Library

The House of Lords Library delivers research and information services to Members and staff of the House in support of parliamentary business.