Audit of local authorities
The Agency audits local authorities' enforcement services and provides a report that outlines areas where the authority can focus its efforts on improvements, while also celebrating good practice.
Authorities are audited against the Feed and Food Law Enforcement Standard in the Framework Agreement, which sets out the minimum standards of performance expected from local authorities across the full range of their feed and food law enforcement activities. The scheme is implemented on a UK basis, with the Agency in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each co-ordinating their own audit programme.
Local authorities are selected to represent a cross-section of local authority types, geographical location and level of enforcement activity as indicated by yearly monitoring returns.
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The documents that accompany the on-site visit are designed to make the audit process clear and straightforward for the local authority and the auditors.
The information below explains in general how the Food Standards Agency audit the feed and food law enforcement work of local authorities in the UK. There may, however, be slight differences in the operation of the scheme in the devolved administrations.
The Agency is keen to support local authority initiatives in relation to inter-authority audits (IAA) and recognises that existing local mechanisms for peer review offer a potential means of meeting national and European requirements for local authority audit with a more self-regulating and sustainable model for qualitative performance monitoring.
Audit reports, including an action plan developed by the local authority to address the audit findings, are published following completion of the audit.