Good practice guides

A list of our reports that describe good practice for different aspects of an entity's operations.
Local government planning and reporting on performance

25 January 2024: This guidance is designed to help councils provide appropriate and meaningful performance information in their accountability documents, so that communities and ratepayers better understand what councils are doing for them in the short and longer terms.

Getting the most out of your department's Audit and Risk Committee

9 February 2023: Understanding and managing risk in a government department is particularly challenging. This is where a well-functioning audit and risk committee can add significant value. We've published a guide for government departments on audit and risk committees, and how to ensure that these committees operate as effectively as possible.

Setting up a council’s Audit and Risk Committee

13 October 2022: An Audit and Risk Committee provides a council’s governing body – the set of all elected councillors – and the community with confidence that a council is managing its risks. Here we provide suggestions for how best to set up and run such a committee.

Good practice in reporting about performance

26 April 2022: This guidance aims to help people in central government prepare better reports on the performance of their public organisation, particularly a better annual report.

Controlling sensitive expenditure: Guide for public organisations

October 2020: Sensitive expenditure is any spending by an organisation that could be seen to be giving private benefit to a staff member, their family, or friends. It risks harming an organisation’s reputation and the public sector more generally. This guide provides practical guidance on specific types of sensitive expenditure and outlines the principles for making decisions about sensitive expenditure.

Local Authorities (Members’ Interests) Act 1968: A guide for members of local authorities on managing financial conflicts of interest

June 2020: The Local Authorities (Members' Interests) Act 1968 (the Act) is somewhat out of date and difficult to understand, and the rules are not always easy to apply in a modern local government context. That is why we have written this plain English guide. We want members who are covered by the Act, and those advising them, to be aware of the Act's rules and the steps they need to take to ensure that they do not inadvertently breach them. This guide also explains our statutory functions under the Act.

Severance payments: A guide for the public sector

June 2019: This guide is intended to help public sector employers when considering making a severance payment to a departing employee. It replaces our 2012 publication, and has been updated to reflect more recent case law and changes in accounting standards.