UK Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has
confirmed all of the public audit work currently carried out by the
Audit Commission (AC) will be outsourced to the private sector.

This decision follows last year’s announcement
the AC will be scraped in order to save taxpayer money.

Pickles said the government has, “set in train
measures to save council taxpayers money by radically scaling back
on the centrally imposed, bureaucratic and costly audit and
inspections previously undertaken by the Audit Commission”.

“This government is determined to refocus
local audit on helping local people hold councils to account. We
believe that the next step is to outsource the audit practice next
year as a way to secure best value for money,” he said.

The Audit Commission, which employs 2,000
people, was set up in 1983. Its primary objective was to improve
economy, efficiency and effectiveness in local government, housing
and the health service.

The decision to move all the work to the
private sector trumps other ideas the government put forward
including transferring AC functions to the voluntary or
not-for-profit sectors.