The Transparency Code
The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 was introduced to place more power into the hands of citizens in order to increase democratic accountability. Transparency gives local people the tools and information they need to hold public bodies to account, especially in the way that public monies are spent.
For Transparency to be effective, the public needs to be able to access this information easily. The Act recognises that the requirement to provide this level of detailed information could be burdensome and costly for smaller authorities, those with a turnover of less than £25,000 per annum, who often maintained their documents in paper form only. The government therore decided that smaller authorities, where the annual turnover is less than £25,000 will no longer be subject to a routine external audit, though they must complete the Annual Return in the same way, but may now simply post this onto their web-site.
As all smaller authorities now must make their financial and governance information accessible to the public at large, through a web-site, and to ensure that all could afford to do this, the government made funds available (The Transparency Fund) to small authorities, over a period of three years, to allow the purchase of basic IT equipment and website development.
Dalton Piercy Parish Council made use of the Transparency Fund to purchase a laptop, printer/scanner, software and training to develop this web-site in order to be compliant with the legislation.
The full Transparency Code is available here.