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Law, Politics, and Local Democracy$
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Ian Leigh

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198256984

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198256984.001.0001

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Financial Accountability

Financial Accountability

(p.100) 4 Financial Accountability
Law, Politics, and Local Democracy

Ian Leigh

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with financial accountability. It includes a look at the treatment of the local contribution to local government finance; rates, community charge, and council tax; the interaction of financial and democratic accountability; the common law trustee concept; and statutory accountability processes. It first considers the accountability issues raised by local taxation and central government grant funding of local government. It then deals with the place of audit as an accountability mechanism, the role of the Audit Commission, and with the judicially created fiduciary duty owed by a council to its taxpayers. The discussion of fiduciary duty underlines a persistent theme of this chapter: the tension between considerations of financial accountability and representative democracy.

Keywords:   taxes, community charge, audit, surcharge, Audit Commission, fiduciary duty, taxpayers

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