April 23rd, 2021 by James Goudie KC

In Moss v Kingston RLBC (2021) EWHC 1032 ( Admin ) Thornton J stated that (1) a public’s right to inspect a local authority’s accounts is a long standing right : para 61; (2) the statutory right of inspection does not lie in policies of transparency and openness, but in financial and democratic accountability of public authorities for the use of public money and the conduct of public business : para 62; (3) The main purposes of the rights to inspect, question the auditor and object to the accounts are to enable electors and other persons interested to assist the auditor in his audit, in advance of its completion : para 63; (4) The auditor must satisfy himself that the authority has made proper arrangements for the 3Es, economy, efficiency and effectiveness : para 64; (5) The right of inspection is subject to the gateways that a sufficient interest must be demonstrated and it must be the right time in the audit timetable : para 67; .and (6) The potential exemptions from the right to inspect are limited and do not include the audited body’s time or cost of compliance : paras 69-76 inc.

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