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Parish Councils

Volume 404: debated on Monday 28 April 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what requirement there is for parish councils to appoint independent internal auditors; what advice the Audit Commission gives to parish councils on this matter; and if he will make a statement. [109713]

A statutory requirement for parish councils and other local authorities to maintain an adequate and effective system of internal audit, in accordance with proper internal audit practices, is set out in Regulation 6 of the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2003. There has been a legal requirement for local councils to maintain a system of internal audit for many years. Guidance on good practice in carrying out internal audit is available in "Governance and Accountability in Local Councils in England and Wales. A Practitioners' Guide". This publication is issued by the National Association of Local Councils and the Society of Local Council Clerks, in consultation with an advisory group including local council representatives, relevant Government Departments and the Audit Commission. The Guide is currently being updated.