As a local elector, or an interested person, you have certain legal rights in respect of the accounting records of Brixworth Parish Council. As an interested person you can inspect accounting records and related documents. If you are a local government elector within Brixworth then you can also ask questions about the accounts and object to them.
You have the right to ask the auditor questions about the accounting records. However, before you ask the Auditor any questions you should first ask Brixworth Parish Council about the accounting records, since it holds all the details.
Before you ask the external auditor any questions, inspect the accounting records fully, so you know what they contain. Please remember that you cannot formally ask questions, under the Act, after the end of the period for the exercise of public rights. You may ask the Parish Council any questions about their accounts for any year, at any time. But these are not questions under the Act. The Parish Council is open and transparent – and any reasonable requests and questions will be dealt with.
You can ask the external auditor questions about an item in the accounting records for the financial year being audited. However, your right to ask the external auditor questions is limited. The external auditor can only answer ‘what’ questions, not ‘why’ questions. The external auditor cannot answer questions about policies, finances, procedures or anything else unless it is directly relevant to an item in the accounting records. Remember that your questions must always be about facts, not opinions. To avoid misunderstanding, we recommend that you always put your questions in writing.
It should be noted that –
- You may not use this ‘right to object’ to make a personal complaint or claim against the Parish Council
- Local taxpayers meet the costs of dealing with questions and objections. In deciding whether to take your objection forward, one of a series of factors the auditor must take into account is the cost that will be involved.
- Objections if they think are frivolous or vexatious, or if it repeats an objection already considered will be disregarded.
- Disagreeing with income or spending does not make it unlawful.