Latest Public Sector News

13.12.13

Mandatory transparency code for councils

Councils will be required to publish additional information about their operation, local government secretary Eric Pickles has announced.

The transparency code will become mandatory for councils with gross income or expenditure above £6.5m.

It includes quarterly information on public expenditure exceeding £500, and procurement information about contracts and tenders, as well as annual details on land and assets, their constitution, pay multiple, money raised from parking charges, subsidies given to trade unions, and grants given to voluntary and community groups.

Pickles said: “Councils need to make sensible savings to help freeze Council Tax and protect frontline services. This new wave of town hall transparency will empower armchair auditors to expose municipal waste – from surplus offices and corporate credit cards to trade union ‘pilgrims’, and help councillors drive down costs. Greater power for local government must go hand in hand with greater local transparency and local accountability.

“My own department has cut its corporate credit card spend by three-quarters since we placed it all online and has saved £400,000 a year from cutting trade union facility time. This openness will help drive council savings both big and small – and they all add up."

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