Two proposed amendments to the Accounts and Audit Regulations (1996) have been published for consultation, with the intention that the revised regulations be put in place this autumn.
The first proposed amendment is to raise the threshold above which councils are required to prepare income and expenditure ('accrual') accounts from its current level of£5,000 to£50,000, as of 1 April 2001. This will lead to a significant reduction of the expensive audit burden on smaller community councils.
Secondly, in the spirit of openness in public life, it is proposed that local authorities are required to make public their auditor's annual management letter. This follows a recommendation in the Audit Commission Financial Management and Policy Review published last year.