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Public interest reports

A report in the public interest will only be made where the auditor considers the matter to be sufficiently important to be brought to the notice of the council or the public. However, it is not the function of the auditor to express an opinion as to the wisdom of particular decisions taken by the council in the lawful exercise of its discretion.

When a public interest report is received the council must publicise the fact in at least one local newspaper. The publicity must identify the subject matter of the report and state that the public may inspect the report and make a copy of it. All councillors must also be supplied with a copy.

The council must consider the public interest report within four months of its receipt unless the auditor grants an extension. At the meeting held to consider the report the council must decide whether the report requires any action and what action, if any, is required. The council has the right to challenge the report in the courts.

The auditor's decision about whether to make a public interest report is final. The auditor will tell you what the decision is but you cannot ask for a 'Statement of Reasons' or appeal against the decision.

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