Your rights to inspect the accounts are set out in Sections 14, 15 and 16 of the Audit Commission Act 1998. The detailed regulations that set out how you can use these rights are in the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2003.
Under the Audit Commission Act 1998 any persons interested may inspect the accounts to be audited and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers and receipts relating to them and make copies of all or any part of the accounts and those other documents.
The accounts must be placed on deposit for a period of 20 working days (four weeks) to allow any persons the opportunity to exercise these rights. The council is required to advertise on their websites and in a local newspaper giving the dates, times and places where the public can see and copy documents at least 14 days before they are placed on deposit.
You do not have the right to inspect and copy documents that contain personal information, including personal information about a member of staff. This means that details of payments or other benefits that a council employee receives will be confidential.
Once you have inspected the accounts you have the right to question the auditor and to object to the accounts.
Former council annual accounts
Shadow Dorset Council Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) 2018-19 - Declaration of No Accounts