Who We Are & What We Do
Media and Language Training
Lifting the Lid off Town Halls
Headlines & Contact Info
Guide to the Legislation
The rules governing the public's rights to view and copy local authority files are profiled in this section.
The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014
The Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 (England)
The Local Audit (Public Access to Documents) Act 2017
The Accounts and Audit (Wales) Regulations 2014
The Local Authority Accounts
(Scotland) Regulations 2014
The Local Government (Accounts and Audit) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015
Links to Council Websites
LOCAL AUTHORITY WEBSITES: FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT LINKS
LOCAL AUTHORITY WEBSITES: PUBLIC NOTICES OF AUDIT INSPECTIONS
It's Your Right to Know
Download our handy PPT presentation here
The ONB legal challenge to Lincolnshire County Council (2005)
Orchard News Bureau took Lincolnshire County Council to the High Court after the authority withheld financial records from public inspection.
invoices and related documents relating to its 2003/2004 accounts, and claimed it was entitled to do so under data protection rules.
The council attempted to argue that information contained in the accounts could not be disclosed without the
of contractors and consultants.
But Mr (now Lord) Justice Leveson ruled that the council had no legal justification to use the data protection act to censor the accounts.
He told the council that ONB and others were entitled to
the records during the statutory public inspection period.
He also put the authority on notice that any future attempt to withhold financial records using either the data protection act, or the human rights act, would trigger a judicial review hearing.
the censored accounts.
For further guidance, contact ONB.
Key Court Rulings
The Veolia and Nottinghamshire County Council court cases (2009/10)
The ONB and Lincolnshire County Council court hearing (2005)
The HTV and Bristol City Council court case (2004)
Exernal Reference Materials
DCLG GUIDE TO CHECKING COUNCIL EXPENDITURE
NATIONAL AUDIT OFFICE GUIDE TO CHECKING COUNCIL EXPENDITURE
AUDIT SCOTLAND GUIDE TO CHECKING COUNCIL EXPENDITURE
AUDIT WALES GUIDE TO CHECKING COMMUNITY COUNCIL EXPENDITURE
AUDIT NORTHERN IRELAND GUIDE TO CHECKING COUNCIL EXPENDITURE
THE PUBLIC SECTOR AUDIT APPOINTMENTS BOARD