Bedford Borough Council publishes statement of accounts ahead of deadline

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Bedford Borough Council has published its unaudited statement of accounts for 2023/2024.

Last year the publication of the draft statement of accounts for 2022/2023 was delayed for two months due to a “variety of complex factors arising from audit delays in previous years”.

This year, the council published its draft 2023/24 Statement of Accounts by the statutory deadline of May 31.

The statement of accounts is unaudited and may be subject to change.

As the council spends public money (from national and local taxes, as well as charges to service users) it has to show local residents and taxpayers how that money is spent.

When it has finished preparing accounts for the financial year the council must make them available for public inspection.

This includes every invoice, payment and receipt registered in the council’s ledgers (it may not be possible to inspect information which is protected by commercial confidentiality).

The council’s accounts for the year ending 31 March 2024 are available to inspect until 12 July, between 9.30am and 4.30am Monday to Friday. 

A hard copy of the accounts or copies of related documentation (comprising books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers and receipts), except as provided for in Section 26(4) to 26(6) of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 in relation to commercially confidential and personal information, can be requested or inspected.

Anyone interested in inspecting the accounts may do so by emailing BMSO.EnablingService@bedford.gov.uk.

The statement of accounts can also be viewed via the council’s website here.

Local electors have further rights to those who are an “interested person” in relation to inspecting the accounts, and can ask the auditor formal questions about the accounts, and can also make objections.

by John Guinn
Local Democracy Reporter