Local Audit (Public Access to Documents) Bill — Clause 1 — Right for All Registered Voters to Inspect Accounting Records of Certain Public Bodies — 24 Mar 2017 at 12:30
The majority of MPs voted against giving anyone registered to vote in local elections in the UK the right to inspect the accounting records of certain public bodies, instead restricting this right to journalists and persons interested.
The amendment rejected in this vote was:
- amendment 2, page 1, line 5, leave out from “after” to the end of the subsection and insert—
- any members of the public who are registered to vote in local elections in the United Kingdom”.
The rejected amendment was accompanied by the following explanatory note:
- This amendment would further extend the public access to local audit documents under section 26 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 in the interest of transparency and accountability.
The rejected amendment would have impacted clause 1 of the Bill titled: Inspection of accounting records by journalists and citizen journalists
- (1) Section 26 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 (inspection of documents etc) is amended as follows.
- (2) In subsection (1) (persons who can inspect accounting records and related documents) after “persons interested” insert “or any journalist”.
- (3) After that subsection insert—
- “(1A) In subsection (1) “journalist” means any person who produces for publication journalistic material (whether paid to do so or otherwise).”
The position prior to the Bill was that only "persons interested" had rights to inspect accounting records and supporting documents, the Bill sought to extend this to also cover "any journalist"; the rejected amendment would have extended inspection rights to any members of the public who are registered to vote in local elections in the United Kingdom.
The inspection rights apply to those bodies listed in Schedule 2 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 which include local councils, National Park Authorities, Police and Crime Commissioners and certain other public bodies.
-  Parliament's webpage on the Local Audit (Public Access to Documents) Bill
-  Local Audit (Public Access to Documents) Bill as at the time of the vote
MPs for which their vote in this division differed from the majority vote of their party are marked in red. Also shows which MPs were ministers at the time of this vote. You can also see every eligible MP including those who did not vote in this division.