Audit Commission's fees increase attacked as 'outrageous'

PUBLISHED: 13:30 09 January 2008 | UPDATED: 21:15 26 October 2009

Robert Gordon: “We are very efficient”

Robert Gordon: "We are very efficient"

PROPOSALS by the Audit Commission to increase its fees have been described as outrageous by the leader of Hertfordshire County Council. Robert Gordon has criticised the body for hiking up fees the council is charged for audits and inspections. The counc

PROPOSALS by the Audit Commission to increase its fees have been described as "outrageous" by the leader of Hertfordshire County Council.

Robert Gordon has criticised the body for hiking up fees the council is charged for audits and inspections.

The council claims the commission will increase its overall rate by around 26 per cent for 2008/2009, eight per cent for 2009/2010 and a further 7.5 per cent for 2010/2011.

Cllr Gordon said: "These are outrageous proposals in the current financial climate.

"We are a very efficient council which continues to get the best value for every pound of taxpayers' money.

"As a result, we are able to minimise council tax increases, but extra costs like the ones proposed by the commission will make this even harder.

"Inspections by the Audit Commission determine whether local authorities are delivering value for money. They should practice what they preach."

The council has written to the commission asking it to review its priorities for developing and increasing Audit Commission work that will be a burden on the local authorities.

A commission spokeswoman denied the 26 per cent hike - saying it was more like 14 per cent.

She said: "We are currently consulting with councils on our proposed fee structure.

"Our fee scales have to reflect normal increases in audit costs.

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