Ellie might nee to speak to a lawyer

The Audit Commission was by no means perfect, but it was not embroiled in the number of financial scandals that the big four accountancy firms have been. Questions need to be asked about why these companies have repeatedly been found not to be doing their jobs properly; whether the motive to make money has anything to do with that, and whether a publicly owned body that audits banks and big corporations may be necessary. The collapse of BHS resulted in 11,000 job losses: the negligence of these firms has real impacts on people’s livelihoods and families. Perhaps it’s time to bring them under public control.

The accusation that BHS’ auditors were negligent is a pretty important statement, isn’t it?

8 comments on “Ellie might nee to speak to a lawyer

  1. Tit for Tat.

    The state can audit private companies when we private citizens can audit the state. Esp local councils and roadbuilding contracts etc.

    No chance they’d go for that.

  2. Mr Ecks, I’ve been thinking the same thing recently. With all the public bodies complaining about austerity limiting their ability to do the job, wouldn’t it be nice if hospitals, police forces published their detailed accounts. Then an interested party could call them out what they prioritise with taxpayers money.

    Maybe this happens, & I just don’t know about it, but if it did I’d expect a few blogs being published detailing the wastage.

  3. Raffles,

    The data is there; but it doesn’t highlight waste.

    For example you can know that a particular hospital has 150 nurses; but the data won’t tell you how busy they are, nor how much of their day is spent filling forms or drinking tea instead of looking after patients.

    The only way to identify waste is through an old-fashioned time-and-motion study. Funnily enough, the public sector doesn’t much care for those. It’s almost as if they don’t want greater efficiency.

  4. “Time and motion”

    Good leaders can identify waste easily. Because they *know* the roles / jobs / business. And they know what a well run outfit looks like.

    And, although I dislike the principle (because it penalises already good managers), what often does work where there is signfiicant waste is simply to chop x percent from departments and see what happens. Most of the time nothing adverse happens. Unless it’s clearly political (twat cuts his front line / protects his own) in which case you know where the problem is: sack the department director / manager and put someone more capable in.

  5. The companies might be listed and headquartered in the UK. But their operations are mostly in other countries. How does the little Audit Commission construct the global audit networks it would need to audit FTSE 350 companies?

    And what happens when the AC fucks up?

  6. Not only an “important” statement, but perilously close to libel.

    He’d be extremely hard pressed to find any negligence if he specifies a case.

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