Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

So Farewell, The Audit Commission

The Government Office for London … Comprehensive Area Assessments … now it’s farewell to the Audit Commission. Like Frankenstein, it had grown mutated from its financial roots such as its name suggested to being an instrument of Labour’s paranoid control of local government, delivering the vision of local councils as branch offices of the New Labour project.

I had been wary that the Government’s apparent enthusiasm for smaller government might stop at simply reversing some of Labour’s efforts, yet in abolishing the Audit Commission, Eric Pickles’ team has also undone one of Margaret Thatcher’s centralising turns. The Commission was not one of her better examples of rolling back the frontier of the State, her suspicion and hatred of Socialism, I suspect, trumping any small government instincts.

That wrong has now been righted, and so now we in local government will be on our own with no oversight … apart from our own external auditors, internal audit, scrutiny by fellow members, opposition and the media. Oh, and the small matter of elections.

Now, if Eric would let me know where the Audit Commission will be buried … I feel like a boogie.


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