We provide a distinctive range of audit and advisory services to all types of local authority and we are passionate about the difference that well-run local government can make to the communities it serves.
Our diverse team blends specialist local government expertise (including auditors and advisors recently recruited from the Audit Commission) and wide commercial experience. We can therefore offer technical excellence, a deep understanding of the challenges facing local authorities and fresh thinking to help tackle them.
Our local government audit work is led by Gareth Davies, formerly Managing Director of the Audit Commission’s Audit Practice. From September 2012 we are the external auditor of several metropolitan, unitary and district councils in the North of England. Our highly experienced external auditors are supported by a strong technical team which includes local government specialists, well versed in local authority accounting and financial reporting. We use this expertise to support our clients with technical updates, as well as contributing to professional developments across the sector.
We understand the special features of local government audit including its focus on the economic, efficient and effective use of resources and its role in providing assurance to elected members and local taxpayers. We believe that our approach delivers the required assurance efficiently as well as offering valuable insight to members and officers.
Contact: Gareth Davies
We are also one of the firms appointed by the Audit Commission to carry out the audit of local councils (parish and town councils) and other small bodies in England, and by the Wales Audit Office to audit community councils in Wales.
Contact: Stephen Christopher
Governance, risk and internal controls
Mazars provides a full range of services in respect of governance, risk and internal audit. We work with our local government clients in a variety of ways which include full outsourcing, partial outsourcing, the provision of specialist services and secondment/temporary assistance.
We have a wide range of staff at all levels who can assist in all areas of management assurance including project assurance and grant assurance work (pre-assurance and grant certification services). We have particular expertise in respect of EU funding and compliance with EU rules and regulations.
Local government advisory
Local authorities are working hard to meet increasing demand with significantly less resource. Success in this depends on understanding the key drivers of demand, cost and performance. Our advisory team blends hands-on local government management experience with current commercial expertise. We can help in five key inter-linked areas:
Customer journey mapping: We have worked with service teams as diverse as adoption and revenues and benefits to help understand the customer journey through the service and the opportunities for better managing demand and the flow of work generated. Results include a better experience for the service user and lower costs through reduced waste. The same approach is also effective for internal support services, reducing cost by improving the way in which internal customers use the service.
Contact: Sandra Prail
Procurement and Service Outsourcing: Driving value for money through service delivery is fundamental in the current environment. We can assist you in finding a solution which meets your needs; whether that be a spend-to-save programme, a restructuring of service offerings, or a formal procurement for outsourcing services. We are particularly focused on developing funding and delivery models which leverage the combined expertise of both the public and private sectors. We have the resource and expertise to drive a transformational strategy through to delivery, no matter what the solution.
Contact: Mica Giles
Interfaces and partnerships: The commissioning and provision of services is increasingly taking place across traditional service and sector boundaries. Our experience and working knowledge of all potential partners enables us to help where they need to work together, whether the context is setting up Health and Wellbeing Boards or grappling with the implications of the new policing structures.
Contact: Phil Morgan
Driving change and continuous improvement in addition to your business as usual pressures is not straight forward. Our dedicated Business Performance Improvement (BPI) team work closely with you to design and deliver practical solutions to your specific challenges.
Our BPI team have a range of established service offerings that we tailor to your unique requirements including Business Process Redesign, Organisation Design, Management Information & Reporting, Project and Change Management.
Children’s services: We have reviewed councils’ services for looked after children in the context of an increased focus on early intervention and prevention, and made detailed recommendations for improving service quality and efficiency; we have reviewed council’s processes for recruiting, assessing and training adoptive parents, and made recommendations that have achieved a 30% reduction in the time taken.
Contact: Clive Harrison
Raising finance and generating income
Capital funding for local government is under severe pressure but remains vital to the growth of the economy and the quality of local service provision. It has never been more important to understand the full range of options for financing key projects.
We are uniquely placed to not only develop appropriate project strategies, but also to help access cutting edge funding solutions which are essential to deliver the level of savings required. We bring an understanding of local government finance, along with private sector expertise to drive value for our clients. We can help you finance and deliver a wide range of both infrastructure and service projects.
Contact: Mica Giles
We recognise the fundamental importance of the economy to councils and their communities, and the growing role that councils are expected to play in a changed economic and delivery landscape.
Our economic development team has extensive public and private sector experience across all aspects of economic development: business growth; employment; regeneration; housing; skills; inward investment; and tourism. The team have done extensive work for councils and government on shaping policy and delivery to meet new challenges, and work closely with our project finance colleagues in developing mechanisms to fund economic development.
The team specialises in strategy and policy development, project development and value for money assessment, and in the development of funding packages.
Contact: Richard Cairns
Fees and charges: We have compared the fees and charges applied by individual councils with their choice of comparator councils, and identified opportunities to increase income, as well as reviewed their charging policies for consistency with wider objectives, such as inclusion and equality of access.
Contact: David Wilson
Outdoor advertising: Most councils are realising only a fraction of the potential of their town and city centres as far as advertising revenue is concerned. Our specialists in this area can help you identify ways to increase your income significantly, improving your financial position with no impact on services or staff.
Contact: Stephen Gregg
Removing barriers to high performance
Governance and scrutiny support: We use our wide experience of local government governance to support elected member development and assist councils in reviewing the effectiveness of their governance arrangements. We also provide specialist capacity to support scrutiny reviews.
Contact: Alison Kelly
Interim management: As our team includes highly experienced local government managers, we are able to help councils cover temporary gaps in key positions.
Contact: Sandra Prail