The Audit Commission: guiding, steering and regulating local government

Josie Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


How does the non-executant state ensure that its agents are fulfilling their obligations to deliver nationally determined policies? In the case of elected local government in England and Wales, this function is carried out by the Audit Commission (AC) for Local Authorities and the Health Service for England and Wales. Since being established in 1983, it is the means by which local authorities are held to account by central government, both for its own purposes and on behalf of other interested stakeholders. Although the primary function of the AC is to ensure that local authorities are fulfilling their obligations, it does so by using different methods. By acting as a regulator, an independent expert, an opinion former and a mediator, the AC steers local authorities to ensure that they are compliant with the regulatory regime and are implementing legislation properly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-476
Number of pages18
JournalPublic Administration
Issue number3
Early online date8 Aug 2003
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2003


  • non-executant state
  • nationally determined policies
  • elected local government
  • England
  • Wales
  • Audit Commission
  • Local Authorities
  • Health Service for England and Wales


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