Communities in England are now benefiting from better access to information about how their local council is spending their money, and the services they provide following an investment of £4.7m from the National Association of Local Councils (NALC).
NALC secured the funding from the government in 2015 to help smaller councils become digitally enabled and allow them to comply with new transparency rules introduced as part of changes to the audit system.
The Transparency Code for Smaller Authorities requires all councils with a turnover of less than £25,000 to publish online a number of financial documents. This includes items expenditure of above £100, end of year accounts, annual governance statement, internal audit report, list of councillor responsibilities, details of public land and building assets and minutes, agendas and meeting papers of formal meetings.
NALC was commissioned by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to manage a Transparency Fund providing grants and other support to councils over a three-year period which ended on 31 March 2018.
Cllr Sue Baxter, chairman of NALC said “It was fantastic to work so closely with our county associations and MHCLG to deliver such a successful programme to help our smaller councils. The Transparency Fund has really enabled our smaller councils to comply with the new rules and become more digitally able.”
Rishi Sunak MP, parliamentary under-secretary of state at MHCLG, said: “I’m passionate about digital services and the vital role they play in delivering more efficient and effective services, so I’m pleased to see NALC using this government funding to help members of the public access information more easily.”