District auditors are responsible for the independent audit of local government and other local bodies responsible for public funds. Auditors are independent of the audited body, and their work audits financial statements, 'regularity' (legality), propriety (probity) and use of resources (value for money). Auditors report widely to the public, councillors and other key stakeholders. This work was been carried out by the Audit Commission since 1983. For more information, see Watchdogs' Tales: The District Audit Service - First 138 Years by District Auditors' Society and R.U. Davies (Mar 1987). On 13 August 2010, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, announced that the Commission was to be scrapped, with its functions being transferred to the voluntary, not-for-profit or private sector. On 1 November 2012 around 700 auditors transferred to new private-sector employers and the Commission’s Audit Practice closed.
The District Auditors' Society was a professional body, founded in 1846, two years after the appointment of the first district auditors. Its purpose was to enable members to discuss problems, pool their experience and undertake research. A two-day conference was held each and every year, apart from breaks during the two world wars.
The archive contains minutes, conference proceedings, audit files, surcharges, standard forms and procedures, press cuttings, the papers of Clement Gibson (Chief Inspector of Audit, 1884-1947), circulars, staffing documentation, panel reports, audit guides, responses to government legislation, accounts and estates, documents of the history of District Audit, and photographs.